Should marijuana be legal?

I’ve noticed we’ve had a lot of threads here debating whether marijuana is sinful or not with answers that vary between “yes, because it’s illegal and you have to obey the law of the land” to “yes, because it’s intoxicating and wrong.”

But I haven’t seen any threads as to whether or not we think it should be legalized in America.

What do you guys think?

okay, LOL I see some people are voting “yes” and “no.”

I should have included a “please explain” on all answers. This is one dead thread…LOL

The backdoor to legalization will be for medicinal purposes only. DOJ will no longer be persecuting here.

People should be able to make that choice.

While I am for marijuana legalization, I think that our country should just focus on legalizing the growth of industrial hemp before we even start to take steps towards the legalization of recreational marijuana.

I said yes, as I believe people have the right to do to their own bodies what they want. But when other bodies get involved, that’s when there is a problem. I abide by the pure libertarian (not to be confused with “liberal”) doctrine that my rights end where another’s begins. So, don’t do it around my kids, don’t put other’s lives at risk, but what you do in your own home is your thing. I don’t recommend its use, but I also don’t think smoking tobacco is a good idea. And there are many more dangerous, legal, drugs than MJ. I’ve had patient’s come in with hypertensive crisis because they took some sudafed–and then they have strokes. Not cool.

Anyway, I’m rambling…and no, I don’t smoke pot.

I’m with you on this one, and I tend to be extremely politically conservative. I personally have problems with caffeine use. It’s highly addictive, and can be harmful if abused. The same can not be said for Marijuana. It’s not physically addictive, although as with everything, a mental addiction can happen. It’s also been shown that there are no harmful long term effects as there are with nicotine, alcohol, and even caffeine.

I personally think that more good than harm would come if it were legalized. We could free up prison space for truly dangerous criminals, rather than potheads, and the taxation of marijuana could being in a lot of revenue for social programs. I also think that since marijuana is a mainstream cultural recreational drug, and is therefore the most common, legalizing it will create a huge hole in the dangerous drug cartels in America. Not to mention that the “gateway” effect of the drug may be stamped out. One of the reasons it’s a gateway drug is because people feel as though they have “crossed a line” by using marijuana because it’s illegal, and are more likely to try other hardcore drugs such as cocaine, and meth.

I really think legalizing it is the best way to solve prison overcrowding, reduce usage by minors since now reputable people are distributing it rather than criminals, and the taxation could do a lot of good for the nation. I also think legalizing it will make for harsher laws on consumption, use by minors, and even DUI charges. Not to mention the damage it will cause drug cartels, and may even lessen the use of the truly dangerous drugs out there.

Just my :twocents:

Oh, and yes while I believe in the legalization I am not a “pothead” LOL!

I believe it should be legal, but I do not believe that it should be taxed.

I don’t think the government should use taxation as an incentive to live healthier lives. While it is good to be healthy, we have a right to be unhealthy if we so choose. Taxes brought in from it would be a government incentive to promote it- more people buy it, more money for them. If it is unhealthy, then there is an ethical concern- I do not want the government promoting bad health so they can make more money off of people (or for any reason).

Some may want to tax it because it is a luxury. I see a big problem with this- taxing luxuries is like saying “you don’t really need this, so we’re going to make you pay extra for your self-indulgence so we can benefit from your self indulgence”. We have a right to be self-indulgent if we want to be- and no, others don’t have a right to piggy back off of what we’re doing just because they think it’s frivolous. That might not be good virtue, but it doesn’t call for any kind of government reprimand. When someone demonstrates a lack of virtue and causes harm to someone else, then the government may need to punish them- but it isn’t their place to TEACH virtue or try and encourage it on matters that are personal- that duty falls on families, and on religion/spirituality/philosophy. Civil government is an unacceptable substitute for those things.

I vote “medical use only” but that requires a bit of explanation! By that I mean ONLY for those with chronic conditions and having a valid doctor’s prescription (which must be renewed often like any other controlled drug). And such a presecription must NOT give permission to grow the plant of possess mas quantitities of the stuff. Furthermore, the plant source should be the natural variant, not the enhanced hybrids with the pumped up dope content!

As for general public use, I remain strongly opposed. I think it is utterly preposterous that we would even consider legitmizing yet ANOTHER “check-out of reality” form of recreation to our society which is already totally saturated with “pleasure me” values and priorities to the exclusion of genuine community building activities.

The percentage of responses here on CAF sure surprises me!

This philosophy might work in a completely libertarian society. But we don’t have that. Perhaps you’ve heard of Medicare, Medicaid and the push in Washington for MORE government health care involvement. When people do stupid things with their bodies in this country, TAXPAYERS end up paying for trying to deal with the consequences.

So you gotta choose. Tax activities that cause greater taxpayer expenditures or don’t PROVIDE government services that end up making wise people pay for stupid people’s mistakes. Sorry to be so blunt.

And for the record, I got 15# hanging over my belt that qualifies as “stupid person’s mistakes.” :wink:

First, why is the legality being questioned here, in the Theology Sub-forum? I have never questioned the morality of smoking, sure it hurts your body, but so does a majority of human consumption & activity.

Second, as a smoker, I still cannot believe that cannabis is considered a gateway drug. A majority of the crime & pain associated with cannabis is in the current system of acquiring buds (the smokable part of the plant). I grow my own to avoid giving a single penny to someone that sells other, more often than not, illegal, and to my knowledge & experience, significantly more dangerous substances. The danger is not the drug, it’s how it is being distributed.

Third, the current stereotype of a ‘stoner’ is a lethargic, unproductive, & apathetic citizen. I make certain I never give off this aura, and I really do not get along well with people that embrace this lifestyle. It is also the government’s fault, during the Clinton administration an amendment to the Federal Funding Act was made, ensuring that no person, even minors, would be allowed federal funding to attend college, if they had a possession charge. Although recently defeated (September 17, 2009 the renewal for the Amendment was shot down :thumbsup: ), society needs to learn that ‘stoners’ are no different than ‘fags’, a discriminatory generalization.

Of course, the general rules still hold, driving while under the influence of THC should be treated no differently than alcohol, although I firmly believe that the penalty should be increased anyway, this extends to all the implied rules that are already in place for legal intoxicants.

Smoke more, chill out.

I say that marijuana should be legalized and regulated like alcohol.

First, when it comes to drug “education,” I think a lot of the “gateway effect” comes from the fact that kids are told that smoking weed will destroy your life and could turn you into a homeless person or worse, but in the reality-based world, this is quickly seen as not being true. Kids aren’t stupid and can see what is going on around them. A lot of people have family members who smoke the weed on occasion and see that they go to work every day and are generally successful in their lives. They see through the lie through examples in their lives and figure, “if they lied to me about weed, what about coke or meth” and that is what leads to problems down the line.

On the other hand, if weed were legal and regulated, it would be though of like alcohol and people be able to make an informed decision as to whether to try it or not. One of my co-workers tried it and said she didn’t like it. I have tried it and would smoke out on occasion if it were legal.

I say yes. It can be used for meditative and medical purposes. Hemp is legal in some- nine I think- states, but the DEA gives growers a heck of a time. Hemp has several good uses. Jails should be filled up with murders, rapists, and drug lords not common folks.

I am totally with you guys.

I really don’t buy into the belief that if it were legalized everyone would do it and it would tear our society apart. Alcohol is legal and far more dibilitating when intoxicated that marijuana, and not everyone is stumbling around the streets punching anything that moves. :shrug:

Hemp is great for rope, paper, lotion, lip balm. I used to macrame hemp necklaces for my friends. MJ comes from a different part of the plant. But just like I wonder why they give moonshiners so much trouble, I wonder why the problems with pot.

I agree, the jails need to be filled with the real bad guys, instead of a bunch of Rastafarians, moonshiners, and hippies.

Right on my friend. :thumbsup:

Hemp is also good for food, clothes, fuel, and other common materials we use and build with. My mum has a hemp based lotion she uses for her skin and says it’s the best she’s ever bought.

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.

Yes, but in medical cases only.

Whoa. Are those poll results fixed? If not… I am pleasantly surprised. Good to see Catholic folk supporting the ganja mon, shabba!

Although the whole taxation thing…

HAHAHA!! I wondered when punditkitchen would get on here :wink:

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