Smoked Out: The Great Debate Of Legalization

Smoked Out: The Great Debate Of Legalization
Posted by CN Staff on April 19, 2007 at 08:21:58 PT
By Andrew Chapin
Source: Fairfield Mirror 
Connecticut -- The legalization of marijuana has become a banner picked up by stoners across the country. It's time to put that green flag down because this is no longer about you and your flaring tree. This, my friends, is about liberty.What is liberty? Is it a gross generalization of the freedoms Americans take for granted?
America has become a nation more concerned with perception than actual progress. We still have a drinking age in this country that, statistically, does not deter drinking. Instead, it spurs it at an even earlier age. We have also forced our youths into drug dealing because they recognize it is more profitable than menial, minimum wage jobs.I am not promoting smoking marijuana; I am supporting the notion of freedom.There's no longer any accountability. As free Americans, we should have the right to smoke packs of cigarettes, eat the most clogged artery-inducing steak and order hundreds of McDonald's French fries, dripping Trans-fat laden oil. While decisions like these ultimately are destructive, have we, as Americans, become so comfortable with being told what is acceptable and unacceptable that we can no longer decide for ourselves? People should not strive for congestive heart failure, but if they want to, they should be able to.Drugs will exist in any free society, just like crime and scandal.Marijuana is often referred to as a "gateway drug." But when did one conscious decision take away the significance of another? People, not marijuana, choose to shoot dope, pop pills, smoke meth. To look at it any other way would be a disrespect to free choice.Marijuana has been found to cause short-term memory loss. Chronic use can lead to heart and respiratory problems as well as an overall sense of lethargy. It impedes overall life functions. For the same reason that someone kicks back on the couch and cracks a beer, why can't that same person light a joint? Though everyone is equal, they are not the same. My beliefs certainly are not the same as Fr. von Arx's, for example. There is a general knowledge of right and wrong to which upstanding members of society adhere. Right and wrong should not include marijuana. The government says this substance is a detriment to one's health and influences the way one thinks. Under this same criterion, unless they plan to ban all fast food, artificially flavored products, tobacco and booze, how can their focus be so miniscule?If politicians really cared about their constituents, they would tell them to take away the video games, start car pooling and stop bringing home takeout every night. But that sounds as autocratic as the thinking behind the criminalization of marijuana. We shouldn't tell people this is what is deemed right only by society's fickle standards. We should think for ourselves.While the government feels it is protecting people from themselves, all it is doing is turning them against one another. Crime is ever more prevalent because marshal law exists in any illegal activity. It's not like the kid who gets ripped off can go the cops and tell them someone stole his weed. I'm not an economist. I couldn't tell you if taxing the sale of government marijuana would alleviate the burden of an $8.8 trillion national debt, but it certainly wouldn't add any more pressure. There is a negative connotation associated with smoking marijuana; it's a scarlet letter every marijuana enthusiast must bear. Nobody wants to be the watery eyed, cotton mouth stoner, but we've all been that stumbling drunkard, peeing on an anonymous door. We should look at ourselves and our decisions before we judge the discretion of others.If you oppose the legalization of marijuana, do it because you actually feel that way, not because it's a popular choice. If you're for it, don't make it just because you would like to wake up everyday feeling as high as you did the night before. This is about choice because it is mine and nobody else's. When the government tells me I cannot drink a cheap beer, light a cigarette and warm my lungs with cancer, then I have lost much more than my guaranteed American freedom; I have lost my individuality, as well. Note: A Legal Issue: My Right To Choose.Source: Fairfield Mirror (CT)Author: Andrew ChapinPublished: April 19, 2007Copyright: 2007 Fairfield MirrorWebsite: themirror stagweb.fairfield.eduRelated Article: Smoked Out: The Great Debate Of Legalization -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on April 26, 2007 at 07:54:18 PT
Press Release From The Drug Policy Alliance
Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Bill Progresses in ConnecticutThursday, April 26, 2007
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on April 23, 2007 at 17:16:36 PT
Sam, It is a very good article.
And I agree with your comment.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on April 23, 2007 at 16:43:22 PT
CT: Boucher Opposes State's Medical Marijuana Bill
By Brian Shea April 23, 2007A bill that would legalize the use and cultivation of marijuana by those who suffer from certain debilitating medical conditions is opposed by State Rep. Toni Boucher, R-143.The bill, House Bill 6715, specifies that in order to qualify, the patient would need to be diagnosed with the condition by a physician and have written certification from the physician. Patients would also have to register with the Department of Consumer Protection.But Ms. Boucher, who has a nephew who suffers from childhood leukemia and still needs more than three years of chemotherapy treatment, believes the use of marijuana for those who are not terminally ill is irresponsible.“I’m very emotionally involved in this issue. The thought of someone suggesting that he put smoke in his lungs when his immune system is already under siege is the worst possible suggestion one could make,” said Ms. Boucher in an interview Monday.Ms. Boucher said for those who are suffering from debilitating illnesses, there are other treatments to help cope with the pain that don’t involve marijuana. For instance, Ms. Boucher said the drug Marinol, containing the substance THC, which is found in marijuana, successfully extracts the positive element of marijuana without the negatives associated with it.“That’s good science,” said Ms. Boucher of the drug. She said programs where those with debilitating illnesses are allowed to use and cultivate marijuana are open to “fraud and other illicit activities,” and marijuana can in many cases do more harm than good for a sick patient. She said “smoking one marijuana joint is like smoking four cigarettes” and, like cigarettes, there are issues with secondhand smoke.The Judiciary Committee voted 31-8 in favor of the legislation in March. Copyright: 2007 by Hersam Acorn Newspapers
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on April 19, 2007 at 08:57:05 PT
wow, my favorite column in months
Another rare instance of someone who thinks exactly as I do. The only reason we should ever need to repeal the drug laws is FREEDOM. PERSONAL freedom. Freedom isn't necessarily safe or healthy. Freedom smells bad. Freedom is noisy. Freedom is dangerous! "America has become a nation more concerned with perception than actual progress."So true! And you know why? Because government has grown like a cancer and invaded every area of personal, public, and business life.  Government LOVES spin control and propaganda.The more government you have, the more you'll be disconnected from the laws of nature and physics.  Problems, weakness, and stupidity that cause disasters and failure aren't corrected, they're expanded! Money and resources flow from productive, hard-working smart people to corrupt, lazy bureaucrats and thugs."Government programs to alleviate injustices often serve mainly to allay public concern while creating a bureaucracy with a vested interest in preserving the problem it is supposed to solve" - economist Dr. Edelman
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