Originally Posted by LilyM
Uh-huh. The fact that current approaches to alcohol aren't working doesn't impress me as any reason to legalise cannabis.
It's a bit like the 'women will get illegal abortions anyway' argument that was used to legalise abortion. Not that women weren't, but it's impossible that rates were anywhere near what they are with legal abortions now.
Having said that, I'm not necessarily against legalisation subject to very strict controls.
I know there is research saying cannabis has no health effects - but then tobacco companies used to say the same, we all know how accurate and unbiased that research was. And it stands to reason that smoking cannabis would have many if not all of the same negative health effects as smoking tobacco.
And I've heard of contrary studies showing it CAN have serious impacts on mental health and brain function. I'd need to look further into both sides, the methodologies used and the like, before jumping on the 'it's perfectly harmless' bandwagon.
I have to disagree with the abortion example. Abortion falls under the "harming someone else" issue--the mother's rights end where the child's begins, and that first inalienable right is the right to life. Period. However, smoking MJ is something one does to oneself.
I agree that pot has serious health impacts. Hindu gurus over in India smoke buckets of it, and end up with COPD in pretty short order. However, people have the choice to do that. Poor choice, but still a choice. Tobacco does that as well. Again, their rights end where mine begin--so don't smoke MJ and drive, don't smoke anything around me or my kids. But, if they want to do it in the privacy of their own homes, let them.
Now, let's say, theoretically, pot becomes legalized in our country. We would still have the First Amendment to protect us while we put ads on t.v. and in the newspapers telling people about the adverse health effects of smoking pot. Much like the way tobacco is addressed as well.