View Poll Results: Should Marijuana be legalized?

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  • Yes

    84 55.26%
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  • I'd like to see the legalization of drugs expanded beyond Marijuana

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Thread: Should Marijuana be legalized?

  1. #81
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    Re: Should Marijuana be legalized?

    After a quick read through of your post I will at least give you a few of the initial thoughts I had as to what walls and rebuttals you could potentially run into regarding your counters.

    Social Conservative: Alcohol is immoral too and/or why should we add another negative behavior to the list then?

    Progressive: interestingly enough on the basis of the assumed argument/counter a similar rebuttal to the conservative.. why add another?? Hit them with freeing up of monies from legal proceedings and incarcerations and let them fill in the blanks as to what that money can be used for.. perhaps suggest that a fraction of the criminal justice savings can go a long way towards education prevention and rehabilitio, and thus potentially offset the harm you conceded in the long term.

    Economic Conservative: with your counter argument their first thought may be.. how do we deal with loss of productivity due to alcoholics?

    Liberal: gloss over the thoughts on public smoking, many people (not just liberals) would rather not see it an option in public at all, mere mention of this instantly brings up thoughts and images of public intoxication driving while intoxicated and since i made mention of that.. quick tangent ty for the saliva test link, that is news to me, I need to look into that more.

    Libertarian,, I would stay away from the studies show people are safer drivers argument as much as you can, it is always met with incredulity, and people will automatically start to doubt your credibility before you even have a chance to elaborate.. plus despite the studies they are still intoxicated, and they are likely only appearing to be safer because they are driving like paranoid old ladies. best avoid that argument altogether

    edit:well i was gonna edit this a bit when i saw it was sloppy and kinda hard to read, but its 5am, which also explains why it is sloppy in the first place. no edit other than this disclaimer... too tired.
    Last edited by marduc; 07-17-10 at 06:15 AM.
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  2. #82
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    Re: Should Marijuana be legalized?

    Quote Originally Posted by marduc View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Korimyr the Rat
    The argument here isn't so much that the harm from cannabis is mild-- though it helps-- but that the harm caused by criminal organizations and otherwise handling recreational drug use as a criminal problem is greater.
    This is dead on target here, and deserves to stand by itself.
    I totally dig this too. It makes me want to write equations showing the harm done in an illegal environment versus the harm done in a legal environment. Here ya go:

    • Harm(total illegal) = Harm(illegal users) + Harm(illegal supply) + Harm(criminal justice)
    • Harm(total legal) = Harm(legal users) + Harm(legal supply) + Harm(rehabilitation)
    • ----
    • Harm(criminal justice) = Harm(law enforcement) + Harm(foreign policy) + Harm(incarceration)
    • Harm(legal users) = Harm(illegal users) - The user population does not change, as shown by studies.
    • Harm(legal supply) << Harm(illegal supply) - No criminal organizations when legal.
    • Harm(legal supply) < 0 - Taxes collected
    • ----
    • Harm(total legal) << Harm(total illegal)
    Last edited by reefedjib; 07-17-10 at 06:10 AM.

  3. #83
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    Re: Should Marijuana be legalized?

    Quote Originally Posted by marduc View Post
    After a quick read through of your post I will at least give you a few of the initial thoughts I had as to what walls and rebuttals you could potentially run into regarding your counters.

    Social Conservative: Alcohol is immoral too and/or why should we add another negative behavior to the list then?

    Progressive: interestingly enough on the basis of the assumed argument/counter a similar rebuttal to the conservative.. why add another?? Hit them with freeing up of monies from legal proceedings and incarcerations and let them fill in the blanks as to what that money can be used for.. perhaps suggest that a fraction of the criminal justice savings can go a long way towards education prevention and rehabilitio, and thus potentially offset the harm you conceded in the long term.

    Economic Conservative: with your counter argument their first thought may be.. how do we deal with loss of productivity due to alcoholics?

    Liberal: gloss over the thoughts on public smoking, many people (not just liberals) would rather not see it an option in public at all, mere mention of this instantly brings up thoughts and images of public intoxication driving while intoxicated and since i made mention of that.. quick tangent ty for the saliva test link, that is news to me, I need to look into that more.

    Libertarian,, I would stay away from the studies show people are safer drivers argument as much as you can, it is always met with incredulity, and people will automatically start to doubt your credibility before you even have a chance to elaborate.. plus despite the studies they are still intoxicated, and they are likely only appearing to be safer because they are driving like paranoid old ladies. best avoid that argument altogether

    edit:well i was gonna edit this a bit when i saw it was sloppy and kinda hard to read, but its 5am, which also explains why it is sloppy in the first place. no edit other than this disclaimer... too tired.
    Here's my update - what do you think? Thanks for the feedback!


    So let me try to sum up the various interpretations of harm due to marijuana, by various groups:

    • Social Conservative: violates a cultural tradition of marijuana being viewed as a drug, in a negative light. Viewed as immoral. Counter: deconstruct "reefer madness" and observe that marijuana is no more immoral than alcohol. There is a difference between what is legal/illegal and what is moral/immoral. It is better to have a high-demand intoxicant like marijuana in a legal status so we can regulate and monitor use for rehabilitation.
    • Progressive: harm is done to self. Counter: some mild harm may occur, especially in chronic users. This is not as bad as the harm from alcohol. What it will do is free up monies from legal proceedings and incarcerations. This money can go a long way towards education prevention and rehabilition, and thus potentially offset the harm conceded in the long term.
    • Economic Conservative: widespread use will lead to loss in productivity. Counter: most users are not chronic and would not lead to productivity loss. May lead to productivity gain. Chronic users would be dealt with like alcoholics. Education and rehabilitation will offset this and be paid for by criminal justice savings.
    • Liberal: harm due to tangled legal situation. Safety is a concern, especially combining marijuana use with alcohol. Counter: clean up the laws with issues such as enforcement - use saliva testing, outdoor smoking - establish smoking zones - no smoking in public? Responsibility to be safe when consuming drugs like alcohol and marijuana.
    • Libertarian: harm done to others - violence, operating vehicles, second hand smoke. Counter: studies show violence is unrelated to marijuana use. It is the responsibility of the use to not operate vehicles, just like with alcohol. Safe smoking zones and other rules prevent second hand smoke risks, just like with cigarettes.

  4. #84
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    Re: Should Marijuana be legalized?

    ok.. im still awake although I am half brain dead, damn insomnia, so this is just going to be things that kind of jump out at me I am not thinhking deeply int to this.

    Social conservative: You are not going to persuade them to change what they think is moral or immoral, so with this new angle and especially in light of your harm concept, perhaps get them thinking about the immoralities that result from prohibition: trafficking, gang culture,violence, disrespect for authority.

    progressives .. replace "potentially" with "eventually".

    econ conserv. i dunno nothing jumps out, but i know there wil be objections, some will balk at the idea of paying for rehab despite it coming from newly freed up monies.

    Liberal.. i dunno on that one.. nothing specific jumps out but i think it needs refinement

    libertarian. i like how you redid the dui part on this

    its all blurring on me must sleep...
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  5. #85
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    Re: Should Marijuana be legalized?

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    What do you mean: "they believe you have to have the means to exercise your rights in order for the existence of those rights to be meaningful"? How does that apply to marijuana?
    Classic liberals believe in freedom as the absence of government (or other coercive power) intervention. Modern liberals believe that government intervention is necessary to protect freedom, and that in order to be free a person must have not just permission to act on their rights, but the ability to do so-- the root of "liberal" big government is their attempts to ensure that people have, or can get, the basic necessities so that they can be free to exercise their rights. As for how it applies to the marijuana debate, their philosophy splits between the idea that a person might ought to have bodily sovereignty and the idea that a person impaired by or dependent upon drugs might not be capable of making effective decisions for themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    Since it is close to your position, do people make such bad decisions that they need protecting from themselves? I can see how exploitative marketing will target such people. How do you protect the people, regulation?
    Yes. As a direct case in point, look at all the financial and legal havoc wreaked upon peoples' lives because of misguided drug policy and how they still use cannabis and other, more directly harmful drugs. Even with all of the advertising and educational efforts we make to steer people away from drug abuse, people still destroy their lives with alarming regularity. Or to stray from the topic, we can examine the obesity epidemic and some of its root causes. Tobacco. Multi-level marketing schemes. Email scams. High-risk mortgages.

    And yes, I believe the answer is regulation. Require that consumer products be as pure, wholesome, and safe as possible and that they have adequate consumer warnings when they are not. Prohibit deceptive advertising, advertising targeted to children, and for the worst products, advertising on the television or the radio. Tax unhealthy products at higher rates to discourage consumption and use the extra revenue to launch further education campaigns to help people make healthier choices. Ban exploitative business models. Limit interest rates. Take every prudent, reasonable measure to make healthier, safer choices easier for people to make and more harmful, more dangerous choices more expensive and more difficult.

    For all intents and purposes, my position is best described as the combination of the social conservative and progressive positions. I tend to conflate what is normal, what is healthy, and what is moral and I believe that the State's purpose is to promote all three. I believe that people making poor choices for themselves and their families leads to moral degeneracy and more tangible social ills and strains society's resources, making it more difficult for society as a whole-- through the State, Industry, and other institutions-- to promote what is best and most fit.

  6. #86
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    Re: Should Marijuana be legalized?

    Quote Originally Posted by Korimyr the Rat View Post
    Classic liberals believe in freedom as the absence of government (or other coercive power) intervention. Modern liberals believe that government intervention is necessary to protect freedom, and that in order to be free a person must have not just permission to act on their rights, but the ability to do so-- the root of "liberal" big government is their attempts to ensure that people have, or can get, the basic necessities so that they can be free to exercise their rights. As for how it applies to the marijuana debate, their philosophy splits between the idea that a person might ought to have bodily sovereignty and the idea that a person impaired by or dependent upon drugs might not be capable of making effective decisions for themselves.
    It seems as if you are talking about two concepts here. I am struggling to identify them and understand how they fit. Talking about them here may help coalesce my thinking.

    First, you say that modern liberals want to ensure that people have the ability to act on their rights. This seems to translate into "ensure that people have, or can get, the basic necessities so that they can be free to exercise their rights". So people's ability to exercise their rights is a function of having their basic necessities met? This is a tough pill to swallow since it opens the door to entitlements and its scope is dependent on what you define as basic necessities. Food, water, shelter, education, healthcare, internet, ... This is one aspect of a big government - one that spends a lot of money on people that don't earn their way in the world. It fosters that dependence, which I believe you said you object to.

    Second, you say: "the idea that a person impaired by or dependent upon drugs might not be capable of making effective decisions for themselves". So here big government seems to threaten to make people's decisions for them if they are found to be incapable of doing so themselves. Very scary. How does government determine who is fit to make their own decisions or not? Can people not be free to make bad decisions? This is related to the second questions I asked below.

    As a direct case in point, look at all the financial and legal havoc wreaked upon peoples' lives because of misguided drug policy and how they still use cannabis and other, more directly harmful drugs. Even with all of the advertising and educational efforts we make to steer people away from drug abuse, people still destroy their lives with alarming regularity.
    Seems this is an argument that the War on Drugs is a failure, and that is not even accounting for all the crime that the War on Drugs creates. Demand has gone up over the years. You cannot force people to make good decisions.

    Or to stray from the topic, we can examine the obesity epidemic and some of its root causes. Tobacco. Multi-level marketing schemes. Email scams. High-risk mortgages.
    I think the government role in addressing these issues should be limited. This probably makes me more of a libertarian than a Whig.

    And yes, I believe the answer is regulation. Require that consumer products be as pure, wholesome, and safe as possible and that they have adequate consumer warnings when they are not. Prohibit deceptive advertising, advertising targeted to children, and for the worst products, advertising on the television or the radio. Tax unhealthy products at higher rates to discourage consumption and use the extra revenue to launch further education campaigns to help people make healthier choices. Ban exploitative business models. Limit interest rates. Take every prudent, reasonable measure to make healthier, safer choices easier for people to make and more harmful, more dangerous choices more expensive and more difficult.
    I can agree with most of these regulations. But they have to be balanced by the cost in implementing them. That cost is a barrier to entry for small business, who can ill afford to pay it. This preserves the market to established companies and is a form of market protectionism. This is wrong.

    For all intents and purposes, my position is best described as the combination of the social conservative and progressive positions. I tend to conflate what is normal, what is healthy, and what is moral and I believe that the State's purpose is to promote all three. I believe that people making poor choices for themselves and their families leads to moral degeneracy and more tangible social ills and strains society's resources, making it more difficult for society as a whole-- through the State, Industry, and other institutions-- to promote what is best and most fit.
    It should not be left to the government to decide what is healthy or moral. That is up to the people and if the cost for that freedom is poor decisions, then that's a reality we must accept.

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    Re: Should Marijuana be legalized?

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    Second, you say: "the idea that a person impaired by or dependent upon drugs might not be capable of making effective decisions for themselves". So here big government seems to threaten to make people's decisions for them if they are found to be incapable of doing so themselves. Very scary. How does government determine who is fit to make their own decisions or not? Can people not be free to make bad decisions? This is related to the second questions I asked below.
    I had meant to ask whether there are examples of the government determining someone is incapable of making decisions for themselves. The only one I can come up with is if a person is found to be crazy and institutionalized. I suppose the forcing of products out of the market so they are unavailable fits as well.

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    Re: Should Marijuana be legalized?

    I updated my site to include other perspectives on harm. Feedback welcome.

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    Re: Should Marijuana be legalized?

    Sorry guys, didn't realize I set the poll so that guests could vote...Seems as though someone is flooding the poll with No.

    Members count as of now

    Yes-29
    No-2
    Other-1
    I'd like to see the legalization of drugs expanded beyond Marijuana-16

  10. #90
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    Re: Should Marijuana be legalized?

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    So people's ability to exercise their rights is a function of having their basic necessities met? This is a tough pill to swallow since it opens the door to entitlements and its scope is dependent on what you define as basic necessities. Food, water, shelter, education, healthcare, internet, ... This is one aspect of a big government - one that spends a lot of money on people that don't earn their way in the world. It fosters that dependence, which I believe you said you object to.
    That's how the thinking goes, and that's how people whose philosophy is fundamentally liberal end up supporting a larger and more intrusive government.

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    Second, you say: "the idea that a person impaired by or dependent upon drugs might not be capable of making effective decisions for themselves". So here big government seems to threaten to make people's decisions for them if they are found to be incapable of doing so themselves. Very scary. How does government determine who is fit to make their own decisions or not? Can people not be free to make bad decisions? This is related to the second questions I asked below.
    This was speculation on my part. I really don't understand how liberals-- of any stripe-- can support drug prohibition. It doesn't make sense to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    Seems this is an argument that the War on Drugs is a failure, and that is not even accounting for all the crime that the War on Drugs creates.
    Yes, it is. But it still demonstrates my point that people make decisions so poorly that they must be protected from themselves. As I've noted before, my problem with the War on Drugs is not the goals, but the methodologies. I support legalization, but my goals are still to reduce the incidence of drug use in America, keep drugs away from kids, and reduce the amount of damage caused by recreational drug use to society.

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    Demand has gone up over the years. You cannot force people to make good decisions.
    No, but statistically you can encourage it if your methodologies are effective.

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    I think the government role in addressing these issues should be limited. This probably makes me more of a libertarian than a Whig.
    Honestly, I cannot picture any of the classic liberals believing that the government should address these issues, either. I support the government's involvement because my political philosophy is rooted in concern for societal fitness rather than individual rights.

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    I can agree with most of these regulations. But they have to be balanced by the cost in implementing them. That cost is a barrier to entry for small business, who can ill afford to pay it. This preserves the market to established companies and is a form of market protectionism. This is wrong.
    I don't share your assessment of market protectionism. The State should work closely with Corporations for the good of society, by ensuring that the Corporations support the State's goals.

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    It should not be left to the government to decide what is healthy or moral. That is up to the people and if the cost for that freedom is poor decisions, then that's a reality we must accept.
    I disagree. We are the government; it is an expression of our united Will as a nation. To say that the government cannot decide what is healthy and what is moral is to say that we, as a culture, cannot define these values for ourselves. This opens the door to blatant defiance of cultural norms and other forms of degenerate behavior and leads to a sharp decline in the unity and fitness of a nation. I think the American people have been in such a state for the last fifty years, and every day I am reminded of the toll that it takes on our values and our ability to exert ourselves politically, economically, and militarily. I do not believe that this is a reality we must accept; if human rights or civil rights interfere with what is necessary for power, for survival, then I believe that it is those rights which must give way.

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