Legalize Marijuana, But Not So I Can Smoke It

  Legalize Marijuana, But Not So I Can Smoke It

Posted by CN Staff on February 06, 2005 at 23:44:05 PT
By Eric Saulnier, Opinion Editor 
Source: The Collegian 

Ultimately, laws exist for the welfare of the citizens they protect. Within law and life in general, determining good and bad, right and wrong requires careful examination of specific situations. Certain actions are right in one context, but wrong in another. I will attempt here to try and articulate what I believe is a sound argument for the legalization of marijuana. I do not use this substance; my motivation for believing in its legalization does not stem from a desire to make my own life easier. My belief in marijuana’s legalization is the conclusion I reach after attempting to honestly examine the question of marijuana’s use from a broad sociological context.
I believe that when considering a law’s appropriateness it is necessary to look at the full situation and resist the temptation to pass immediate judgment. In the case of marijuana, upon first examining the case for its legalization one might conclude that no, marijuana should not be legalized because it does harm to users and those around them. However, I believe that after examining the consequences of outlawing pot, the law itself ends up creating more harm than if pot were legal.Marijuana is subject to fairly strict punishments, including jail time and fines for possession with increased punishment for repeated offenses. The dealing of marijuana receives much harsher punishment than the drug’s mere use. The effects of these punishments, while reducing marijuana’s use (though arguably not by very much) and thus its ill-effects, create more harm than the original problem. To adequately regulate marijuana’s use, the government must devote large sums of money and other resources, while also establishing firm punishments for violators. Both the resources allocated towards marijuana’s prevention and the punishments exacted on users create more harm than if the drug was left legal.Marijuana is often termed a “gate-way drug,” meaning that once individuals use marijuana they are more likely to try other more harmful substances. Besides indirectly encouraging further drug use, marijuana sometimes directly causes individuals to unwittingly use other drugs: sometimes marijuana is laced. If marijuana was legalized, its form, potency, and purity could be monitored, reducing the risk of direct exposure to a different drug. Also, the legalization of marijuana would allow the drug to be taxed, which would generate revenue that could enhance society in other ways.The legalization of marijuana would actually generate money. Taxes placed on other “sin goods” such as alcoholic bever-ages and tobacco products often increase the amount of money available to schools, public works, education on drug use, etc. Fighting marijuana through its illegalization on the other hand, drains massive amounts of funds that could be other-wise applied. Governmental attempts to enforce marijuana’s illegality are largely unsuccessful. The drug is still widely used and relatively easily available. Arguably, its usage might not increase in a dramatic way if marijuana were made a legally traded product.Much of the money used to prevent marijuana’s use comes from the need to incarcerate offenders. The costs of housing prisoners are significant and when one takes into account the money lost to their families/communities by their absence, the figure grows even larger. Many, though certainly not all, dealers come from poorer communities. Their income may very well prove essential to the economic well-being of other people. By removing them from the community for selling marijuana, the people they support suffer a huge loss. Upon returning from prison, former dealers find acquiring any sort of a halfway decent job almost impossible: drug offenders aren’t exactly the people successful businesses like to hire. So, the individual will likely sell marijuana again, or perhaps undertake something even worse, placing them once again in prison. This process eventually becomes a cycle with no apparent escape that owns that individuals life.The system of punishment is unfair because it fails to provide people with a viable opportunity for change. Punishing someone should serve a clear and achievable purpose. We must ask ourselves if our current punishments for marijuana’s usage are appropriate and effective. I believe that the results of punishments for weed usage probably do more to insure that individual will use weed again than persuade them to stop.Marijuana is a problem, but so alcohol and tobacco. What is so different about weed that it is forbidden and the other two drugs are legal? Marijuana does cause health problems, but so do many activities that the government leaves up to personal discretion. The most effective way to combat marijuana would be to instill educational systems and to better regulate the drug by its legalization. The penalties exacted on violators of the marijuana law do more harm than good. They condemn users to a troubled life and may do the same to innocent bystanders. Complete Title: Legalize Marijuana, But Not So I Can Smoke It. No Really, I'm Serious!Source: The Collegian (OK)Author: Eric Saulnier, Opinion EditorPublished: February 01, 2005Copyright: 2005, The CollegianContact: collegian Website: -- Cannabis Archives

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Comment #23 posted by FoM on February 07, 2005 at 21:32:20 PT
Thank you for being as kind as you always are. That means so much to me. 
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Comment #22 posted by ekim on February 07, 2005 at 19:43:37 PT
FoM thanks for all you are doing 
Tommy said that he has never been arrested, and that no Spin Bill said he was on Jays show. \
Tommy said that he is in the system. if caught he gets a little more, if caught the third time he will be a 3 striker and would be up for life.......
Tommy said that many in a position to jail him were compassionate and understanding as real humans.
Tommy said that the feds wanted to give his wife 2yrs for cashing a ck. and doing great harm to his son who is now studding law.
Tommy said that he is doing a stand up show --marijuanamonalogs. Cheech and Tommy are doing a show on hempoil and how it affects those who use it === theme of Karma runs in Tommy as he mentioned this cosmic vibe as set up to go inside.anyone have Dare gates saying what should happen to drugies ==funny that valentines days is coming.
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Comment #21 posted by Hope on February 07, 2005 at 13:34:06 PT
We don't need any cuts to real education or to helping the poor. That's sickening. I want my tax money used on things like education and poverty relief.There are so many budget items that are perfect for cutting though. So many. I hope the spirit of Kap's turkey carving knife gets in there with some power.Kap, and FoM...I've always believed that a central tenet of any war is cutting the population by turning so many people into cannon fodder.
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Comment #20 posted by kaptinemo on February 07, 2005 at 13:15:00 PT:
To understand what's been happening
Take a look at the philosophical guru of the NeoConservatives: Leo StraussGoogle search string on Leo Strauss: Keep in mind, friends, Strauss is referring to us as the 'vulgar', the military as the 'gentlemen' (which get ground up into hamburger in wars started by the next higher group) and the leaders (who see themselves as the Platonian philospher kings of The Wise)...who think nothing of sending members of the other groups into the meatgrinder for their causes.This is the mindset of what's running (and ruining) things in America. Which explains Rumsfeld's blase attitude towards our troops, sending them with inadequate armor and equipment. And if they get chopped up and survive? No VA bennies. Just go off and die, soldier boy, while I count the millions I made from your sacrifice in securing those oil fields. That's social darwinism.
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on February 07, 2005 at 13:03:58 PT
I know what you mean. It makes me very sad. 
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Comment #18 posted by kaptinemo on February 07, 2005 at 13:00:11 PT:
FoM, don't give 'em any ideas!!!!
I know, it sounds joking, but it's not. look up the term Social Darwinism: understand that those who run this country are indeed thinking just like that. And understand that the vast majority of those entering the military today are the economically poor and educationally cheated. Since they can't get good civilian jobs, many gravitate be used in, as Steve Earle sang, "Rich Man's Wars". "Problem solved" at least as far as the social darwinists are concerned. Who, needless to say, never have to do the fighting themsleves.
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on February 07, 2005 at 12:51:15 PT
I sure agree with you. It will make it very hard on poor people. I don't get this kind of thinking. Maybe we should line up the poor and just shoot them and then we won't have to worry about them anymore. I better be careful or I might give this administration an idea.
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Comment #16 posted by afterburner on February 07, 2005 at 12:44:13 PT
Hope, RE Drug-Free Cuts 
I just caught that one out of the corner of my eye on CNN. I wanted to verify before I posted anything in case I got it wrong. Upon checking various news sources, I found that they had already moved on. The "Orwellian" new pundits change the story so fast by concentrating on Democratic reaction, that the details of the original story get lost. Bush said he was cutting ineffective programs! (Bush Cuts Butter to Pay for Guns)Thanks for the confirmation. It's a mixed blessing as many of the other cuts to social services are going to make the US a poorer place for private citizens.
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Comment #15 posted by kaptinemo on February 07, 2005 at 12:25:11 PT:
We've been saying it for years
"And this too shall come to pass."The DrugWar is facing an enemy it couldn't intimidate into silence, or bludgeon into submission...the economy that feeds it.We've said here for the longest time that when push comes to shove, the DrugWar is run on tax dollars. So long as the economy was going balls-out, and the tax revenues flowing in, the game could be kept up. But no more. Times are getting tight, and look to become tighter still. The Administration knows it must make DEEP cuts, and the sooner the better. It knows that there are programs that have been popular 'crowd pleasers', programs that are the favorites of its' low level supporters, but are not now and have never been absolutely essential to the survival of this nation, and the DrugWar, for all its' hype, is just such a program. The bureaucratic knives are out, and the various government agencies are eyeing each other the way a butcher does a side of beef. And given the fact that in recent times, the DEA and the ONDCP have BOTH been publicly admonished for inneffectiveness and wasting taxpayer's dollars, they can expect extra scrutiny. And we have a ringside seat. (Just a word of advice: it could get as messy as Gallagher show, so wear something easily washed.)
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on February 07, 2005 at 12:01:56 PT
Bush cuts...just came in on DPFT list
 On the domestic side, according to documents, the budget would
consolidate 18 community development block grant programs into one
Commerce Department program for a savings of $1.8 billion. It would slice
law enforcement grants to states from $2.8 billion to $1.5 billion. And it
would cut 48 education programs totaling $4.3 billion, including $2.2
billion for high school programs, mostly state grants for vocational
education.The budget would cut $440 million in Safe and Drug-Free School grants,
$500 million in education technology state grants, $225 million for the
Even Start literacy program, $280 million for Upward Bound programs for
inner-city youths and a $150 million talent research program, according to
the documents.
"The story is at
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on February 07, 2005 at 11:59:38 PT
Bush cuts
I say Cut the WoD!!!The lists I've seen aren't complete...but they are cutting funds to "Drug-Free Schools" programs. Wonder where that stroke of common sense came from?I still think they are afraid of the monster industries, including militarized law enforcement, that they have allowed to grow and feed off the WoD.They, like Dr. Frankenstein...only for real...have created a monster that they can't control and are rightfully afraid of it.
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on February 07, 2005 at 11:55:26 PT
Excuse me!
That scripture was noted by FoM! Sorry. I don't know why I thought Ekim made that comment. I'm very busy and not paying enough attention when I'm struck to comment.Sorry. Great reference, FoM.
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on February 07, 2005 at 11:46:54 PT
Ekim...that scripture
I think about it often in our struggle.You may know that I don't believe in a literal eternal hell...I believe all people are "saved" whether they know it or not (I Tim. 4:10: (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.(note: "especially" does not mean "exclusively") ...but I believe that the prohibitionists will definitely be asking, "When did we persecute and cage you, Lord, for using a plant that is a gift from your Father?" and their arrogance and self-righteousness will come crumbling down around their heads.Ever looked a full grown goat in the eye? Scary eyes!'s an insult to a lot of sweet little goats to be compared to prohibitionists. I can see the metaphor though. I like the wheat and tares metaphor better. I like animals, sheep and goats.I am sure though that prohibitionists are going to very surprised at what they did to the name of prohibition.
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Comment #10 posted by global_warming on February 07, 2005 at 11:15:25 PT
ot: 'Stop Government Propaganda Act
Nice section of scripture FOM,Senators to Introduce 'Stop Government Propaganda Act'By Brian OrloffPublished: January 27, 2005 12:10 PM ETNEW YORK In response to continued revelations of government-funded "journalism" -- ranging from the purported video news releases put out by the drug czar's office and the Department of Health and Human Services to the recently uncovered payments to columnists Armstrong Williams and Maggie Gallagher,who flacked administration programs -- Sens. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.) will introduce a bill, The Stop Government Propaganda Act, in the Senate next week."It's just not enough to say, 'Please don't do it anymore,'" Alex Formuzis, Lautenberg's spokesman, told E&P. "Legislation sometimes is required and we believe it is in this case."The Stop Government Propaganda Act states, "Funds appropriated to an Executive branch agency may not be used for publicity or propaganda purposes within the United States unless authorized by law.""It's time for Congress to shut down the Administration's propaganda mill," Lautenberg said in a statement. "It has no place in the United States Government." The bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Jon Corzine (D-N.J.).Formuzis told E&P that while the bill is being introduced by Democrats, its message and intent is something endorsed by Republicans and Democrats alike."We only have a few senators on the bill so far, but we hope and expect that we'll get a number of others to sign on to the legislation once we introduce it," he said. "This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. This is an issue about an independent press, and I think that's something that will cross party lines."The act would allow citizens to bring qui tam lawsuits on behalf of the United States government when the Department of Justice does not respond.If the matter is taken to court, the bill proposes that the senior official responsible would be fined three times the amount of the "misspent taxpayer funds" plus an additional fine ranging from $5,000 to $10,000. And if a citizen's qui tam suit is accepted, the bill proposes that the plaintiff receives between 25 and 30% of the proceeds of the fine."The President said that his cabinet agencies made a mistake when they paid commentators to promote his agenda," Kennedy said in a statement. "It's more than just a mistake, it's an abuse of taxpayer funds and an abuse of the First Amendment and freedom of the press. ... If the President is serious about stopping these abuses, he will support this legislation."According to a release, publicity or propaganda is defined in the bill as: news releases or publications that do not clearly identify the government agency responsible for the content; audio/visual or Internet presentations that do not identify the responsible government agency; any attempt to manipulate journalists or news organizations; messages created to aid a political party or candidate; messages with a "self-aggrandizing" purpose or "puffery of the Administration, agency, executive branch programs or policies or pending legislation"; and, finally, messages that are "so misleading or inaccurate that they constitute propaganda."
Brian Orloff (borloff is a reporter for E&P
Senators to Introduce 'Stop Government Propaganda Act' 
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Comment #9 posted by runruff on February 07, 2005 at 10:02:44 PT:
Reason number one: commonsence.commansence is a commodity in which the feds are severly in deficit.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on February 07, 2005 at 09:49:20 PT
Thank you. I looked and the NPR show with Tommy Chong will be available at 3. As soon as I see it online I'll post it.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on February 07, 2005 at 09:43:20 PT
Bush Wants To Cut Food Stamp Benefits
I don't post scriptures very often but this seems relative to the possible cut.****Matthew 25:31-4631 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 "Then the King will say to those on his right, `Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' 37 "Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' 40 "The King will reply, `I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' 
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Comment #6 posted by Deboche on February 07, 2005 at 09:16:22 PT
free trade?
after burner, freedom is relative. The land of the free may have much less freedom than a lot of countries in the world. Freedom in America is a joke, at least between the year 2000 and 2008
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Comment #5 posted by afterburner on February 07, 2005 at 08:45:25 PT
ekim, That Jumped Out to Me, Too!
"Bush just sent his budget to the Hill. massive cuts in farmers subsidies."Any farmers out there who helped re-elect Bush. Are you having second thoughts? Hemp is a non-psychoactive fibrous and nutritious plant that could help you in the face of cuts to farm subsidies. Forget the government programming about "dope-crazed killers": join the campaign to re-legalize a traditional American crop that is being grown for profit in all industrialized countries *except* the United States of America! Does Free Trade mean anything?
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Comment #4 posted by ekim on February 07, 2005 at 08:04:58 PT
heads up NPR noon today
NPR Nat'l Public Radio 12 noon Fresh Air will interview Tommy Chong. Bush just sent his budget to the Hill. massive cuts in farmers subsidies.who is doing the research in new farm products here in the USA while other countries are making billions on Hemp.
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Comment #3 posted by potpal on February 07, 2005 at 06:52:18 PT
My reply...
posted 2/7/05 8:50:33 AM IMO, your opinion is right on. However, marijuana and weed are derogatory names for the beleaguered cannabis plant. Cannabis is what it is, always was and will be. Two things I can think of off the top of my head that your piece is missing. One, how the prohibition of cannabis has contributed to the watering down of our civil rights by infringing on our constitution in the name of the (failed) war on some drugs. And two, how prohibition, as before when was allowed to run rampant in our society, has corrupted leo’s from the top down. ie. ( When one ignores history, they are setup to repeat it. Thanks for your display of courage to discuss a topic that is generally ’prohibited’ from debate also.Free or drug free America...pick one. 
Do Some Talkin’ Back
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Comment #2 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on February 07, 2005 at 04:38:10 PT
Now they can make a sequel to Traffic
A senior aide to Mexican President Vicente Fox is alledged to have been working with narcotraffickers:
BBC: Mexican aide held on 'drug links'
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Comment #1 posted by global_warming on February 07, 2005 at 03:45:19 PT
OT:But related
Alaska attorney general steps down amid criticism-JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) -- The state attorney general announced his resignation Saturday after months of battling criticism for alleged ethics breaches while shaping an international trade deal.Republican Gregg Renkes said he wanted to shield his family "from the vicious politics of personal destruction."GOODBYE Greg old boy...
Alaska attorney general steps down amid criticism
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