View Poll Results: Should Marijuana be legalized?

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  • Yes

    84 55.26%
  • No

    59 38.82%
  • Other

    2 1.32%
  • I'd like to see the legalization of drugs expanded beyond Marijuana

    31 20.39%
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Thread: Should Marijuana be legalized?

  1. #51
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    Re: Should Marijuana be legalized?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    And there's the issue. I'm going to try to be helpful because you're honest and up front about this and I see now this is your own project which I can respect you trying to do.
    Thanks, I appreciate it!

    The vast majority of people in this country are not going to approach this issue from a libertarian-esque mindset because the vast majority of people in this country don't subscribe actively to said mindset. So while to you the need to say "other people" when talking about the adverse affects is not present. However, to the vast majority of people who read "I am making the claim that the are no long term harmful affects" they are assuming you mean affects in general, including to themselves.
    Why is it a libertarian-esque mindset or approach? Surely it cannot be because I am trying to establish a principle by which we evaluate whether it should be criminal. Are libertarians the only folks who talk in terms of principles?

    I can see how people would assume I mean harm to anyone including themselves. I need to raise the visibility of that distinction.

    Indeed, its rather unusual to think of a statement like that about "long term" affects of a drug and assume you're meaning "long term affects to OTHER people".
    Yes, you are right. Very odd. I am not sure why I specified "long term".

    Aside from the point Psycho was making, and I've made for a while here, in regards to the damage done to the movement by those who are simply the mirror image of the anti-pot propogandists your post illustrates the next most difficult hurdle the movement will need to overcome. This cannot be fought primarily or singularly from the logical stand point of a libertarian. “Harm Principle” cannot be your overriding argument if you want to win people over to this. This is actually at the heart of my issue with Ron Paul back during the primaries.

    These types of arguments cater SPECIFICALLY to a rather small niche of the population (libertarians) while having a good deal of variation with regards to its impact with the vast majority of the population. The problem with that is that the people you are wanting to convince are not going to be libertarian types, as they are most likely going to be the ones already in favor of what you’re wanting.

    Instead what you need to do is, instead of identifying what’s important to you and why you want it legalized identify what’s important to your target audience and then find out how to relate reasons for legalization to that crowd.
    I refer to those other arguments, before focusing on the single issue of identifying a principle. Here is what I say:

    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.noharmmeansnofoul.org
    There are good pragmatic reasons to legalize marijuana. These include the observation that drug use is a health problem and not a criminal problem, the removal of a black market for drug trafficking, the undermining and reduction in criminal enterprise associated with illegal drugs, both at the street level and at the organized crime level, and the fact that the War On Drugs creates crime and criminal enterprise. It even has foreign policy and national security implications as international cartels destabilize our allies in central and latin america as they supply the drug demand of the USA.


    Principles

    However, it is not the intent of the website to rehash these arguments, which have been heard before. My intent is to focus on one thing. I aim to discuss the principle underlying the criminalization and proposed legalization of cannabis. The principle we should use to evaluate the moral imperative of the criminalization of marijuana is what is known as the Harm Principle. Although there were previous mentions and outlines of this principle, one of the first known in writing is the Grandfather of the Constitution, John Locke in his Second Treatise of Government in 1689. This work was continued, and best enunciated, by John Stuart Mill in his On Liberty, published in 1859.

    The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion. That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinion of others, to do so would be wise, or even right... The only part of the conduct of anyone, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.

    – John Stuart Mill
    The harm principle is the bolded phrase quoted: "That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others."

    A corollary to harm to others is regarding harm to self: "Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign."
    So here we see my approach to both issues. First, the issue of recognizing other arguments for legalization, but not addressing them in this essay. Second, distinguishing between harm to self versus harm to others.

    You’re more than welcome to. I by no means suggest its thorough, complete, or well detailed though but I have no issues with you using it as I think all of those are pretty solidly factual. For the most part they’ve been gathered from various articles ranging from both sides of the fight as well as wiki and a few other sources.

    In regards to heart rate, I believe one study I had saw that mentioned it stated that within the first hour of smoking weed one can experience their heart rate rising up to 4 times its normal level. The belief is that this could potentially raise the risk of heart attacks for those with heart conditions (doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen, but simply creates a better circumstance at that point for such). Similarly it could cause issues with people with existing anxiety or panic disorders. Beyond that it’s a mild thing like increased body heat, etc.

    Yep. And if one was to be fair you’d need to point out that the majority of the long term affects if present are primarily apparent only when actively still partaking in the drug regularly. For example, in regards to the IQ/Memory/Attention they found definite decreases in these for long time, regular users, however people who had previously smoked or smoked only occasionally throughout the year did not present these symptoms.

    I’d say withdrawl is one of those things that you could go into on its own as its almost a separate matter as it’s not an affect of the drug, but of leaving the drug. It’d be important to point out that it is one of the weakest drugs in terms of the severity of its withdrawl symptoms, and they do not manifest in every user. Symptoms are generally “mild” compared to other drugs and include things like irritability, anxiety and physical tension, decreases appetite and mood, insomnia, and sweats. While someone could have significant cases of these symptoms, the symptoms themselves are relatively benign compared to detox from others. So while its untrue when people suggest “there is no withdrawl issues with Marijuana” you’d likely want to be a slight bit more thorough then saying that there is withdrawl since that word can mean a lot of things to different people.

    A way to think of it is the warnings on pills. If 4 versions of a type of pills say “warning, use of this drug could cause complications including heart attack, stroke, paralysis, or death” and 1 version says “warning, use of this drug could cause complications” and that’s all people know of that type of pill, they’re going to assume that 5 pill has similar “complications”. However if it the last pill said “warning, use of this drug could cause complications such as exhaustion, fatigue, and dizziness” then people are likely going to go “oh, yeah they’re not good but its not like its DEATH”. If they just left it off completely though, without any warning, people would naturally be distrusting.

    Say Marijuana has the potential for withdrawl symptoms, though generally weaker than many other substances including Alcohol. Those symptoms are [list of symptoms]. All users may not experience withdrawl from the substance.
    I am thinking about adding a robust section on "harm to self".

    Gotcha. And its great to see you open and honest about wanting to find that kind of stuff out and being receptive to it. It’s a quality more in the active community for this needs to have. American’s are conditioned to think of harm not just in what it does to others but what it does to ones self, so behind honest about those will help as it will show that the affects are generally not horrible comparatively.
    Yep, I see this.

    Again, you’re viewing this from that libertarian scope.

    Here’d be my advise to you honestly in regards to your site.

    Do not abandon the “harm principle” notions and the government getting out of peoples private business notions. Those aren’t bad. Don’t make it your sole focal point though.

    Hit on the fiscal issues of it. The amount of money we spend yearly in regards to enforcement and incarceration of individuals because of this. Look at the amount of money that could potentially be generated both in the private sector due to manufacturers, government due to taxes, and the economy in general by bringing cash out of the black market. Push how it will help spur job creation as growers, factory workers, retail locations, businesses catering to it, etc will all open up. Between the increased government funds for democrats, increased economical funds for republicans, and increased jobs and decreased money spent on law enforcement for both, you have a factual and useful argument that actually has the chance of touching a base of people your strictly libertarian argument may not.

    You can do this one the Social side as well. Highlight the potential aid it could provide for border relief as it takes one of the main goods causing the smuggling and violence associated with it to occur out of the equation. Highlight how low level offenders who’ve done nothing criminal other than partaking in the use of it would no longer being hounded by the system. Point out how by no longer putting it essentially on par with far harder drugs you reduce part of the “gateway” nature associated with it because you no longer have situations where someone goes “I’m having to hide this activity and I could get in legal trouble for it, so what more harm can come from doing additional things”.

    Obviously the libertarian point is not reaching a broad base, as evident by their generalized numbers at the polls, their numbers of people that self identify as such, and the general issues with legalization as it stands. The more you and others branch out and start thinking “what will convince them” rather than “what would convince me” I think there’s going to be a larger chance of getting some change in a far faster time span.
    I reference the crime angle, and reduction of criminal enterprise. I hit the national security angle. I say that it should be a health problem and not a criminal problem. I do NOT make a fiscal argument nor a social argument (which seems to be a crime argument, so perhaps I touch on it). I was trying to super briefly acknowledge these other argumnets, to be found elsewhere, and focus the reader on my principle.

    I am trying to attract conservatives. I have always said that I think it is a natural issue for conservatives. That may be me confounding a libertarian mindset on conservatives, although I have my parents convinced. Personal responsibility and individual freedom are conservative principles, right?

    When I caught the bug to setup the site, I had just been turned down for an interim security clearance. My 2nd turn down. All because I used to smoke pot 4 years ago. It is a ****ty thing, it pissed me off and I created the site.

    I’ll give you site a peak though and look over once I’m home and on my computer. Anxious to see it.
    Excellent! I look forward to hearing your opinion about it!

  2. #52
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    Re: Should Marijuana be legalized?

    I'm shocked that 29 people are against it, nevermind the fact that nobody has ever died from it or the 10 billion the U.S spends combating it or the near 1,000,000 people who find there way into jail for it.

    I mean we would save a lot of money and get rid of a major amount of the illegal drug trade.

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    Re: Should Marijuana be legalized?

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    Why is it a libertarian-esque mindset or approach? Surely it cannot be because I am trying to establish a principle by which we evaluate whether it should be criminal. Are libertarians the only folks who talk in terms of principles?
    It is because the specific principle you are trying to establish as the sole criterion by which we determine whether or not it should be criminal is a fundamentally libertarian notion, and relies on the libertarian definition of "harm". Social conservatives believe that encouraging or condoning immoral behavior is harm. Progressives consider damage done to one's self, either deliberately or out of ignorance, to be harm. Lost productivity can be considered a form of harm. Convincing people who believe in these principles to support your agenda requires acknowledging their understanding of harm and convincing them that legalization is less harmful-- by their understanding of the term-- than the current policies.

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    Re: Should Marijuana be legalized?

    Conservatives certainly do take an immoral stance on Marijuana, just exactly where do they get the idea that Marijuana is immoral though?

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    Re: Should Marijuana be legalized?

    Quote Originally Posted by BCR View Post
    I mean we would save a lot of money and get rid of a major amount of the illegal drug trade.
    At the cost of more people considering it acceptable behavior and more people engaging in it. I believe there are more effective methods of combating drug abuse, but my goal is still combating drug abuse. Many people remain unconvinced that treating it as a social or medical problem would be more effective. Many people, including myself, are afraid that if cannabis or other drugs are legalized without a regulatory framework and harm-reduction model in place, it will lead to an uncontrolled expansion of the recreational drug market.

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    Re: Should Marijuana be legalized?

    Quote Originally Posted by BCR View Post
    Conservatives certainly do take an immoral stance on Marijuana, just exactly where do they get the idea that Marijuana is immoral though?
    Think about all the people you've known that have habitually smoked cannabis. How many of them were responsible, upstanding citizens?

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    Re: Should Marijuana be legalized?

    Quote Originally Posted by Korimyr the Rat View Post
    It is because the specific principle you are trying to establish as the sole criterion by which we determine whether or not it should be criminal is a fundamentally libertarian notion, and relies on the libertarian definition of "harm". Social conservatives believe that encouraging or condoning immoral behavior is harm. Progressives consider damage done to one's self, either deliberately or out of ignorance, to be harm. Lost productivity can be considered a form of harm. Convincing people who believe in these principles to support your agenda requires acknowledging their understanding of harm and convincing them that legalization is less harmful-- by their understanding of the term-- than the current policies.
    Thank you, Rat. I thanked the post and bookmarked it too so I can refer to it later. Very elegantly and concisely put. I do see that arguing from their perspectives is the key.

    My first point of confusion is that John Locke and John Stuart Mill are to be considered libertarian? I suppose the social conservatives look to the bible and I am not surprised that progressives don't look to such Enlightenment philosophers. Still, I thought they were pretty mainstream.

    You list three alternatives: social conservatives, progressives and I am not sure what to call the third - economic conservatives? What about fiscal conservatives (moderate conservatives) and liberals? What do they classify as harm?

    By the numbers:
    Social conservatives: is habitually smoking pot immoral? It would be tough to make an argument here if they do.

    Progressives: do Progressives really think this? Again, it would be hard to make an argument here, other than to state that the harm is mild.

    Economic conservatives (?): Stress relief can increase productivity. Abuse can decrease it.

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    Re: Should Marijuana be legalized?

    Quote Originally Posted by Korimyr the Rat View Post
    Think about all the people you've known that have habitually smoked cannabis. How many of them were responsible, upstanding citizens?
    You would be surprised.

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    Re: Should Marijuana be legalized?

    It amazes me to see so many people that want to legalize MJ and say that it doesn't do any harm, real harm, long term harm etc etc. Sure they use statistics and "studies" to try and prove their point. But I don't trust either one of em.

    I am against it for very real reasons. Reasons that I myself have observed and seen with my own eyes. MJ does in fact cause what I would term as brain damage. My sister who use to be a great cook can no longer even boil water without burning it.

    MJ has also been the cause of my sister stealing. Now I have heard arguments that MJ doesn't make my sister steal. Well if that's true then drinking and driving doesn't cause accidents. IE there is a direct correlation.

    So go ahead and bring on all your studies showing how MJ isn't really bad for ya. Personal experience always trumps what some "expert" that most people haven't even met, or more likely even heard of, says.
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    Re: Should Marijuana be legalized?

    Quote Originally Posted by Korimyr the Rat View Post
    Think about all the people you've known that have habitually smoked cannabis. How many of them were responsible, upstanding citizens?
    most of them are, I am being dead serious too..Telling the honest truth, none of my smoking buddies have ever been arrested. Just look at Marijuana use in college, it's not a bunch of high school drop outs smoking in their parents bedroom.

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