I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that these marijuana debates often get very heated, both on message boards and in society at large, for a very simple reason. A reason that has little to do with logic or fact or figures or reason. And to illustrate my point, I'm going to take myself back to high school and college. 'Stoners' tended to segregate themselves. And by 'stoner' I'm referring to regular pot-smokers, not the casual user who takes a hit at a party every once in a while. Stoners weren't popular in my high school. They weren't popular in my dorm in college. They tended to go into their rooms, lock their doors, and spend hours and hours giggling, playing their 'stoner' music and doing whatever it is stoners do when they party. They were, in a real sense, outcasts.
And I can't help but believe that this segregation of stoners or pot-heads or whatever you call them... and this view of them as outcasts or outsiders, fuels the debate much more than we know.
Some may argue that if pot were to be legalized, this would change. But I'm not sure it would.