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New medical marijuana policy by Obama administration





handfleisch
Another day, another reversal of Bush policy. This one is something most rational people of goodwill (which didn't apply to the Bush administration) can agree is a good thing, I think.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/AP-Newsbreak-New-medical-apf-4109207182.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=main&asset=&ccode=

Quote:

AP Newsbreak: New medical marijuana policy issued
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration will not seek to arrest medical marijuana users and suppliers as long as they conform to state laws, under new policy guidelines to be sent to federal prosecutors Monday.

Two Justice Department officials described the new policy to The Associated Press, saying prosecutors will be told it is not a good use of their time to arrest people who use or provide medical marijuana in strict compliance with state laws.

The new policy is a significant departure from the Bush administration
, which insisted it would continue to enforce federal anti-pot laws regardless of state codes.

Fourteen states allow some use of marijuana for medical purposes: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
Phinx
it might not be morally good, but hey, politics arent moraly good anyway. On the other hand, marijuana is being sold in massive quantities anyway, so why not rather try and tackle the problem by taking it under some legal control, rather that leaving people to buying their 'smoke' from some dodgy alley.
deanhills
Maybe before people jump for joy they should read your quoted text. Obama is referring to marijuana for medical use. I assume that people would then be required to have a medical prescription for it. Which would still make it difficult to get hold of for those who need to have it.

Quote:
The Obama administration will not seek to arrest medical marijuana users and suppliers as long as they conform to state laws, under new policy guidelines to be sent to federal prosecutors Monday.


Very little has changed. Basically the Federal government is opting out of "policing" the use of marijuana "for medical use" and it is now up to the States to supervise this.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
Basically the Federal government is opting out of "policing" the use of marijuana "for medical use" and it is now up to the States to supervise this.

Before this though, people who had marijuana, in perfect accordance with state law, could still be arrested and prosecuted by the federal government.

This silly practice will now end.


On a side note:
Yay! That's the 2nd thing Obama has done that I agree wholeheartedly with!
(Handfleisch, please make a note of this, to curb any later claims that I simply disagree with Obama about everything for various irrational reasons.)
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Basically the Federal government is opting out of "policing" the use of marijuana "for medical use" and it is now up to the States to supervise this.

Before this though, people who had marijuana, in perfect accordance with state law, could still be arrested and prosecuted by the federal government.

This silly practice will now end.
OK, got it Ocalhoun. And agree. This was a good move.
jmi256
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Basically the Federal government is opting out of "policing" the use of marijuana "for medical use" and it is now up to the States to supervise this.

Before this though, people who had marijuana, in perfect accordance with state law, could still be arrested and prosecuted by the federal government.

This silly practice will now end.


On a side note:
Yay! That's the 2nd thing Obama has done that I agree wholeheartedly with!
(Handfleisch, please make a note of this, to curb any later claims that I simply disagree with Obama about everything for various irrational reasons.)


I also agree with this. I'm not an advocate of illegal drug use, but I do think that the previous policy was an instance of the federal government overstepping its bounds. It's good to see Obama honoring states' rights.
atul2242
While this is a positive move it still does little to address the US Drug policy which is so irrationally biased by big business.
deanhills
atul2242 wrote:
While this is a positive move it still does little to address the US Drug policy which is so irrationally biased by big business.
For me it is irrationally biased by the medical profession. They even want to get into the business of natural supplements as well.
brokenadvice
Actually, they will still arrest people who have weed on them, or those engaging in other crimes (for instance if they are using a dispensary as a cover for selling other drugs). The federal laws effectively banning marijuana have not changed. Raiding of dispensaries will still happen by motivated individuals, and the growers will still be prosecuted, it is just not their main focus.
deanhills
brokenadvice wrote:
Actually, they will still arrest people who have weed on them, or those engaging in other crimes (for instance if they are using a dispensary as a cover for selling other drugs). The federal laws effectively banning marijuana have not changed. Raiding of dispensaries will still happen by motivated individuals, and the growers will still be prosecuted, it is just not their main focus.
I thought Handfleisch stated clearly that it was marijuana that is used for medical purposes. According to Ocalhoun, previously those who had been using marijuana for medical purposes (obviously under doctor supervision with a prescription) also got prosecuted. With the new regulations, those using marijuana for medical purposes will no longer be prosecuted on a federal level. It would make sense that those who are growing weed or using it for different purposes than medical will be liable for prosecution.
Ophois
While it's a good move, it's not exactly a home run, yet. It's a small step forward regarding our Draconian drug laws, but it's at least a step nonetheless. While Bush is an easy target for blame, these anti-marijuana laws are much older, and did not originate with politicians, but with corporations who were able to persuade(bribe) politicians into enacting such laws. This is why I am so disgusted with politics. For too long they have been nothing more than corporate ******, lapping at the heels of industry in order to get rich at the expense of American Freedom and Liberty.
deanhills
Ophois wrote:
Draconian drug laws
That's a really good description Ophois. I wonder if someone would sit down and work on statistics how much that is contributing to the cost of healthcare, and if some of it could be relaxed, how the cost of healthcare would be dropping. Take for example anti-inflammatories. Why would one need a prescription for those? There are so many drugs on that level that needs to be freely made available. If people were given greater responsibility for their own health care, they would be much more inclined to read the small print on the drugs. How many doctors warn their patients about the small print in their drugs anyway? You still get a guy like Michael Jackson to die anyway. He is a good example of how people can get around drugs through paying doctors for them, either legal prescriptions or illegal ones, and why that would make healthcare so expensive. If society should rather teach its society to become more responsible in taking care of their own health along preventive care lines, including reading up on the drugs they are taking, this would be much more efficient, and less costly.
atul2242
Natural remedies and Health-care

I agree with you. If people were free to find natural products which could help hem life would be simpler for them. It is just not marijuana but there are so many herbs which people have just forgotton about as they have never been promoted by Healthcare departments.

I found in central Europe many people switching to natural herbs for small ailments. Growing small quantities of marijuana for home use is also not frowned upon. Most rural households also make their own wines.

In Hindi we have a phase " Daawa -Daaru" Daawa means medicine and Daaru means alcohol.
Ophois
deanhills wrote:
That's a really good description Ophois. I wonder if someone would sit down and work on statistics how much that is contributing to the cost of healthcare, and if some of it could be relaxed, how the cost of healthcare would be dropping.
Our drug laws contribute to more than just health care cost. More accurately, they simply waste money, which could be used in many ways.

In 2005, we had 1,288,600 people in prison or jail. 253,300 of whom were in the system for drug related crimes, roughly 20%. We now have, as of June 30, 2008, 2,310,984 people in the system(almost doubling in just under four years!). Again, 20% of whom are in for drug related crimes.*

It's not so much that these laws raise the cost of health care, but they cost us so much money that we could otherwise be allocating towards health care and other things. Here in Florida, it costs about $55.09(USD) to keep a person in prison, per day, which is $22,108(USD) per year.** So if 20% of our inmates are drug offenders, that would be around 400,000 people, conservatively estimating. If we use Florida as an example for the cost of warehousing these prisoners, it comes to $8,843,200,000(USD) annually, just for the drug offenders. Yes, that's almost nine billion dollars.

In 2008, there were 1,702,537 arrests for drug violations, with 847,863 of them being for marijuana, and 754,224 of which were possession alone.*** NORML(the Nat'l Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) cited the Bureau of Justice, stating in 1999 that 1 in 7 actual prisoners(serving time) were behind bars for marijuana. (Article here) If we go by that, then 330,140 people are in prison for marijuana only, costing us(again, using the Florida formula) $7,298,735,120(USD). Staggering, no?

So, given a margin for error and estimation, about seven billion dollars per year is spent on locking up marijuana users. Seven billion dollars, per year, could fund health care reform, educational reform, or be pumped back into communities and small businesses as an economic stimulus. The fact that so much money is wasted imprisoning people for canibus is an embarrassment and a disgrace, given the rather benign nature, and usefulness, of canibus. In addition to the desperate need for that money elsewhere.

*U.S. Dept. of Justice prison statistics
**Florida DOC statistics
***Drug Arrest statistics(DOJ sources are cited on page)
ocalhoun
Ophois wrote:

So, given a margin for error and estimation, about seven billion dollars per year is spent on locking up marijuana users. Seven billion dollars, per year, could fund health care reform, educational reform, or be pumped back into communities and small businesses as an economic stimulus. The fact that so much money is wasted imprisoning people for canibus is an embarrassment and a disgrace, given the rather benign nature, and usefulness, of canibus. In addition to the desperate need for that money elsewhere.

Not to mention the costs in terms of freedom! Outlawing dangerous drugs is nanny-state-like enough, but outlawing one that can't be overdosed?

There's also some extra monetary savings you neglected to mention; prisons aren't the only cost of drug enforcement. You also have investigation and arresting of drug users/dealers. How many police department man/hours are spent on drug enforcement? That's paying for personnel and equipment that could either be put to better use or eliminated to save money. What about the judicial process? How many hours do judges, state prosecutors, and state defense attorneys (as well as other courtroom staff) spend arguing marijuana cases? Again, that's personnel who could be used for better purposes (lowering wait time for other trials), or eliminated to save money.
Ophois
ocalhoun wrote:
Not to mention the costs in terms of freedom! Outlawing dangerous drugs is nanny-state-like enough, but outlawing one that can't be overdosed?
No doubt. The State and the Fed need to get their heads out of their asses on this one.
Quote:
There's also some extra monetary savings you neglected to mention; prisons aren't the only cost of drug enforcement.
Certainly. I was just going with a very base figure, how much would immediately be saved if there were no pot smokers in prison. There are, of course, countless other ways that money can be saved, as you mentioned. Additionally, the judiciary process for "real" cases would not be so clogged up. If only we could stop arresting almost a million people a year for a drug that is nowhere near as harmful as anything advertised on TV for depression.
This topic is such a no-brainer that I want to bang my head into a wall thinking how stupid these laws are.
deanhills
Ophois wrote:
I was just going with a very base figure, how much would immediately be saved if there were no pot smokers in prison.
Probably a good idea to keep the guys in prison under drugs most of the time, from what I have heard, they seem to be quite heavy on one another, a little escapism would probably help to calm them down. Twisted Evil
liljp617
ocalhoun wrote:
Ophois wrote:

So, given a margin for error and estimation, about seven billion dollars per year is spent on locking up marijuana users. Seven billion dollars, per year, could fund health care reform, educational reform, or be pumped back into communities and small businesses as an economic stimulus. The fact that so much money is wasted imprisoning people for canibus is an embarrassment and a disgrace, given the rather benign nature, and usefulness, of canibus. In addition to the desperate need for that money elsewhere.

Not to mention the costs in terms of freedom! Outlawing dangerous drugs is nanny-state-like enough, but outlawing one that can't be overdosed?


As you probably know, it's pretty fair to say that it wasn't originally outlawed for moral/health reasons -- they used much worse justification if you look into the history.
Ophois
Quote:
Probably a good idea to keep the guys in prison under drugs most of the time, from what I have heard, they seem to be quite heavy on one another, a little escapism would probably help to calm them down.
Depends on the drug. Users of canibus don't need to be anywhere but at home. Or maybe at a party.
liljp617 wrote:
As you probably know, it's pretty fair to say that it wasn't originally outlawed for moral/health reasons -- they used much worse justification if you look into the history.
Let's see...
Immigration was a factor.
So was Dupont.
For a good read, Jack Herer's book "The Emperor Wears no Clothes" gives a fairly comprehensive history about why canibus was outlawed, and how important the plant was prior to the campaign against it's use. Just as an example, the word "canvas" was derived from "canibus", and to every sailor and navy, canvas was of the utmost importance. Easy to grow, easy to harvest, easy to replace. Sails, clothes and rope were all made from canibus. In fact, until the 1800's, all bibles were printed on hemp paper. Makes one wonder what the burning bush really was.
The Emperor Wears no Clothes
atul2242
In 1996 India made cannabis illegal to grow and sell. This was a directive from the US trade treaty. Till then it was an integral part of our religious culture and in many parts of the country still is.
Now we have many people rotting in Jails booked for possession of marijuana. Not only that the growing of the plant has been banned. And we all know it is a good cash crop for non-intoxicating products as well.
Evil or Very Mad
liljp617
Ophois wrote:
liljp617 wrote:
As you probably know, it's pretty fair to say that it wasn't originally outlawed for moral/health reasons -- they used much worse justification if you look into the history.
Let's see...
Immigration was a factor.
So was Dupont.
For a good read, Jack Herer's book "The Emperor Wears no Clothes" gives a fairly comprehensive history about why canibus was outlawed, and how important the plant was prior to the campaign against it's use. Just as an example, the word "canvas" was derived from "canibus", and to every sailor and navy, canvas was of the utmost importance. Easy to grow, easy to harvest, easy to replace. Sails, clothes and rope were all made from canibus. In fact, until the 1800's, all bibles were printed on hemp paper. Makes one wonder what the burning bush really was.
The Emperor Wears no Clothes


Yes, immigration was a huge factor, combined with racism and xenophobia. Yellow journalism, blatantly false information in legislature, fear mongering, propaganda...you name it.

I've always found it really interesting that some colonial governments (Virginia is one, if my memory serves me right) mandated a specific amount of hemp growth from farmers.
toasterintheoven
too bad it didn't pass, looks like we'll have more arrests for marijuana possession, which is horrible, considering the type of people you'd get mixed up with in state penitentiary just for having marijuana
Afaceinthematrix
The funny thing about this is that Obama's administration does not believe in freedom; Obama highly supports the War on Drugs. Obama funds the Mexican war drug highly (big freakin' waste of money). This, in turn, makes him a despicable human being. In my opinion, if you do not believe in freedom then you're a terrible person and I do not want to have anything to do with you. People who believe that prostitution, gambling, drugs, or anything else that's a personal choice and that doesn't hurt anyone else does not believe in freedom. So Obama does not believe in freedom - which is one reason why I hate him.

But medicinal marijuana laws are the one good thing about this country's ridiculous drug laws (people have already gone over how they restrict freedom and how much they cost) because it's so easy to get a medical marijuana card! You basically just have to ask your doctor. Just say you have anxiety issues and that they marijuana helps you cope. You'll get one almost no questions asked! If I smoked marijuana then that's what I would do. But I hate marijuana. It makes me paranoid, lazy, anti-social, and bored. I actually only ever used it because it was illegal and I wanted to spit in the face of our ridiculous laws - civil disobedience. Now since CA did not pass their proposition for legalizing and taxing marijuana for personal use (which means I hate most people here because they do not believe in freedom) I've had many friends just go and get their medical marijuana cards (if they didn't already have them). I also have many friends that still buy it illegally. I guess CA screwed that one up. They're still smoking and CA is not getting their taxes.
deanhills
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
So Obama does not believe in freedom - which is one reason why I hate him.
I'm almost certain that Obama "thinks" he believes in freedom. That is the reason why I don't think very highly of him. When he expresses his thinking in words, it does sound pretty eloquent and impressive, but it would be much nicer if he could put his actions where his words are. I have to agree with you, there is not much difference in the category of marijuana between Bush and Obama. Obama did make some token efforts to make it easier to get marijuana legally and trying to simplify the prosecution stuff. But that is all mostly housekeeping stuff only. Not the real nuts and bolts issues that are bugging you.
watersoul
Here in the UK while it is illegal to possess pot, it isn't really chased except for the dealers of course.
A couple of copper friends I know, tell me they'd rather deal with a pot-head than an aggressive drunk any day. If they catch someone with a bit of smoke and it's not near children, or being used by a driver of a car say, or related in anyway to the reason the suspect is being questioned, mostly they'll give the guy/girl a break and throw it away down a drain or something.

Thats a sensible bit of policing in my opinion.
Alcohol causes far more damage to society than pot, I don't smoke it myself but I have a few times in the past, at parties when I was younger.
Even without referencing sources, the drunken fights in town centre's every weekend, the jam packed hospital waiting rooms on Fri/Sat nights from alcohol related injuries, the sexual assaults on vulnerable drunken girls, or domestic violence caused by drunken rages etc etc, ask any cop and they'd all prefer to deal with pot-head crimes.

It is even so cheap these days, that you don't actually get much theft going on to fund a users habits - unlike heroin/cocaine.

As far as legalising goes, it's a tricky one for me. You could argue that whilst illegal, it forces people to go to dealers who may have little scruples and encourage the purchase of other drugs they might happen to sell. On the other hand, by making it legal, we could end up with a new generation of pot-heads who don't want to work?
As a nation, the UK absolutely binges on the already legal drugs (alcohol), so by keeping it out of mainstream, does this help keep a reduction in the numbers smoking? Like I say, a tricky one.

*edit*
I've been reading a police report tonight from a child protection case where I've become involved to a certain extent through my employment. This passage caught me:
Quote:
There were syringes found on the floor of the children's bedroom, and one of the children had written "I'm hungry" "feed us now" on the chalkboard.
The oldest child is 10 years old in this case and the drug causing the problem is heroin. I firmly believe that the police should be free to spend their time on the truly damaging drugs without distractions from low level pot smoking which is absolutely worlds apart from the life of a smack addict. The sooner our society can realise the difference between types of drugs then the sooner we can focus resources on the more important dangers. A simple "all drugs are equally bad" statement is so far removed from the reality of our world that it would be laughable if it were not so tragic.
liljp617
Find me a politician who believes in freedom.
Afaceinthematrix
watersoul wrote:
As far as legalising goes, it's a tricky one for me. You could argue that whilst illegal, it forces people to go to dealers who may have little scruples and encourage the purchase of other drugs they might happen to sell. On the other hand, by making it legal, we could end up with a new generation of pot-heads who don't want to work?
As a nation, the UK absolutely binges on the already legal drugs (alcohol), so by keeping it out of mainstream, does this help keep a reduction in the numbers smoking? Like I say, a tricky one.


Forcing people to go to the dealer is a problem for other reasons that you do not mention. I think the main issue of having to go to a dealer is that dealers do not ask for ID. That makes it easier for children to get pot. If it was legal and you had to go to the store, it would be slightly harder (although still not any harder than tobacco or alcohol) to get it because stores have to ask for ID when people purchase items that have age restrictions.

The other big issue about forcing people to go to dealers is that gangs are almost primarily funded by drug dealing. So you have the U.S. government wasting large amounts of money on their ridiculous "War on Drugs" so that they can not reduce drug use (it is actually the opposite, but I'll get to that), cause extra violence at the border (of the Mexican border), and then leave drug selling to gangs and directly fund them and their violence. If drugs were legal, then gangs would essentially lose funding and violence would be decreased. But politicians are either too retarded to see this or they're afraid that they'll lose votes if they actually stand up and do what is right.

Legalizing pot would not lead to a new generation of lazy people who do not want to work. Statistics show that legalizing a drug decreases its use. And even if more people did use marijuana (or other drugs), then so what? Since they are taxed, those taxes could be used to fund free rehabilitation programs - which would help people get sober. Not only would they not have to fear getting help (many drugs addicts do not wish to even seek help because of possible legal persecution), but there would be free rehabilitation programs (paid for by taxes). So this would help drug users. This would mainly apply towards harder drugs than marijuana because marijuana is non-addictive for the most part. A very, very small percentage of pot smokers get addicted to it (less than alcohol).

Then there's the part about people being lazy and not wanting to work. This is more of a myth because a very small percentage of pot smokers become potheads. Most of my friends smoke weed and they all have jobs, have degrees (or go to school), take care of their responsibilities, etc. Most of them smoke weed occasionally after work or on the weekends. It's not something that develops into a habit that will turn them into the poster-boy wives' tale example of someone who smokes weed.

liljp617 wrote:
Find me a politician who believes in freedom.


Find me a politician who believes in freedom and has a chance of being elected to office. That makes a little more sense. I can point out politicians like Dale Ogden (even though he's a huge douchebag), Ron Paul, or many other libertarians who believe that anything that doesn't hurt someone else (like drug use, prostitution, gambling, etc.) should be legal. Of course these people will never be elected to office even though they get my vote every time.
watersoul
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
watersoul wrote:
As far as legalising goes, it's a tricky one for me. You could argue that whilst illegal, it forces people to go to dealers who may have little scruples and encourage the purchase of other drugs they might happen to sell. On the other hand, by making it legal, we could end up with a new generation of pot-heads who don't want to work?
As a nation, the UK absolutely binges on the already legal drugs (alcohol), so by keeping it out of mainstream, does this help keep a reduction in the numbers smoking? Like I say, a tricky one.


Forcing people to go to the dealer is a problem for other reasons that you do not mention. I think the main issue of having to go to a dealer is that dealers do not ask for ID. That makes it easier for children to get pot. If it was legal and you had to go to the store, it would be slightly harder (although still not any harder than tobacco or alcohol) to get it because stores have to ask for ID when people purchase items that have age restrictions.

The other big issue about forcing people to go to dealers is that gangs are almost primarily funded by drug dealing. So you have the U.S. government wasting large amounts of money on their ridiculous "War on Drugs" so that they can not reduce drug use (it is actually the opposite, but I'll get to that), cause extra violence at the border (of the Mexican border), and then leave drug selling to gangs and directly fund them and their violence. If drugs were legal, then gangs would essentially lose funding and violence would be decreased. But politicians are either too retarded to see this or they're afraid that they'll lose votes if they actually stand up and do what is right.

Legalizing pot would not lead to a new generation of lazy people who do not want to work. Statistics show that legalizing a drug decreases its use. And even if more people did use marijuana (or other drugs), then so what? Since they are taxed, those taxes could be used to fund free rehabilitation programs - which would help people get sober. Not only would they not have to fear getting help (many drugs addicts do not wish to even seek help because of possible legal persecution), but there would be free rehabilitation programs (paid for by taxes). So this would help drug users. This would mainly apply towards harder drugs than marijuana because marijuana is non-addictive for the most part. A very, very small percentage of pot smokers get addicted to it (less than alcohol).

Then there's the part about people being lazy and not wanting to work. This is more of a myth because a very small percentage of pot smokers become potheads. Most of my friends smoke weed and they all have jobs, have degrees (or go to school), take care of their responsibilities, etc. Most of them smoke weed occasionally after work or on the weekends. It's not something that develops into a habit that will turn them into the poster-boy wives' tale example of someone who smokes weed.


All interesting points and broadly I quite agree with you.
Regarding the bold text though, I can only comment on the situation in the UK, and remember, we have a very generous welfare state compared to many countries. I actually know many pot-heads (through my employment as clients of mine, and also in my private life as friends who I try to encourage into a more productive life), and they can afford to chill out getting stoned, with the rent and local taxes paid for them, plus enough money to smoke all day eating cheese toasties.

The situation in the US may well be very different, but in the UK, with the ability to be a stoner comfortably doing nothing that involves getting out of bed in the morning apart from signing a declaration every fortnight that they've been "looking for work", no, I think a completely legal situation would be normalising a life choice that the state here actually makes achievable without having to work - very tempting to some.

...another point to consider is the "tax free" blackmarket that would still exist for drugs. There's already a healthy market for illegal "tax free" cigarettes/rolling tobacco in this country, a huge problem the government are struggling to overcome - The same "baccy dealers" would simply change the products made available in the existing illegal framework.
Afaceinthematrix
watersoul wrote:
All interesting points and broadly I quite agree with you.
Regarding the bold text though, I can only comment on the situation in the UK, and remember, we have a very generous welfare state compared to many countries. I actually know many pot-heads (through my employment as clients of mine, and also in my private life as friends who I try to encourage into a more productive life), and they can afford to chill out getting stoned, with the rent and local taxes paid for them, plus enough money to smoke all day eating cheese toasties.

The situation in the US may well be very different, but in the UK, with the ability to be a stoner comfortably doing nothing that involves getting out of bed in the morning apart from signing a declaration every fortnight that they've been "looking for work", no, I think a completely legal situation would be normalising a life choice that the state here actually makes achievable without having to work - very tempting to some.

...another point to consider is the "tax free" blackmarket that would still exist for drugs. There's already a healthy market for illegal "tax free" cigarettes/rolling tobacco in this country, a huge problem the government are struggling to overcome - The same "baccy dealers" would simply change the products made available in the existing illegal framework.


So, in other words, the problem isn't marijuana - it's welfare? You cannot blame pot for causing these people not to work. I am sure that most of them are capable. If welfare reform happened and these people lost their comfortable handouts, then I am sure they would be able to get a job.

Welfare reform is a problem in many places and it's not pot that causes people to milk the system. These people do not want a job and so they will not get a job. Pot or no pot, some people just will not work. So what else are you going to do if you have nothing to do all day? You might as well sit around smoking trees. If they didn't have the trees, they will wouldn't want to work because they're lazy pieces of crap. Whereas the rest of the population that will work will work even if they have trees or not.

Then you brought up the point of the black market. Well, that still doesn't matter. Right now, since most drugs are illegal, then virtually all of the consumable drugs come from the black market. If they were legal, many people would get them legally. Therefore, the black market would be smaller. It doesn't matter if it still exists - it will still be smaller. Furthermore, it is extremely dangerous to transport drugs illegally. The risk alone is what mainly drives up prices. So if drugs were brought in legally, that alone would allow the government to beat black market prices - as long as taxes are low enough.
watersoul
Afaceinthematrix wrote:

So, in other words, the problem isn't marijuana - it's welfare? You cannot blame pot for causing these people not to work. I am sure that most of them are capable. If welfare reform happened and these people lost their comfortable handouts, then I am sure they would be able to get a job.
I'm not trying to, I'm just saying it's much less boring not working if you're getting stoned all day, and smoking the weed does dampen motivation. Yes not for everyone, but a lot. And I'm only going by what I see with my own eyes in this country with the many long-time smokers I know. I absolutely accept your situation may be different in the US, and thats why I stated the same previously.
Afaceinthematrix wrote:

Welfare reform is a problem in many places and it's not pot that causes people to milk the system. These people do not want a job and so they will not get a job. Pot or no pot, some people just will not work. So what else are you going to do if you have nothing to do all day? You might as well sit around smoking trees. If they didn't have the trees, they will wouldn't want to work because they're lazy pieces of crap. Whereas the rest of the population that will work will work even if they have trees or not.
Most trees I can think of don't offer a sensory experience that takes the boredom out of sitting at home all day, people smoke pot for the feeling, people don't smoke trees as the effect is not the same.

Afaceinthematrix wrote:

Then you brought up the point of the black market. Well, that still doesn't matter. Right now, since most drugs are illegal, then virtually all of the consumable drugs come from the black market. If they were legal, many people would get them legally. Therefore, the black market would be smaller. It doesn't matter if it still exists - it will still be smaller. Furthermore, it is extremely dangerous to transport drugs illegally. The risk alone is what mainly drives up prices. So if drugs were brought in legally, that alone would allow the government to beat black market prices - as long as taxes are low enough.


Thats the killer blow, we are taxed shockingly high in my country and our government cannot beat the cheap tobacco prices in the black market, or even the wine smuggled in from lower taxed areas of Europe. As I said, it may be different in the US, but it's a reality in my country now - the state cannot undercut the criminals.

*edit*
I am under the impression that you see nothing wrong ever with pot smoking and thats fair enough if it's your own personal experience, I'll accept it's your view. I tend to look to the wider picture though and am more easily able to accept that some people I've known in life would have had a better life experience if they'd smoked less pot than they have. As my Grandmother used to say, "everything in moderation" Wink
Afaceinthematrix
watersoul wrote:
I'm not trying to, I'm just saying it's much less boring not working if you're getting stoned all day, and smoking the weed does dampen motivation. Yes not for everyone, but a lot. And I'm only going by what I see with my own eyes in this country with the many long-time smokers I know. I absolutely accept your situation may be different in the US, and thats why I stated the same previously.


Of course it does. But my point is that if you take away the stoner's welfare then they'll be forced to get a job. That's just how it works... Because of that, I know many stoners who work and continue to be productive people in society. They usually then cut back on the trees and only smoke on weekends.

Quote:
Most trees I can think of don't offer a sensory experience that takes the boredom out of sitting at home all day, people smoke pot for the feeling, people don't smoke trees as the effect is not the same.


This doesn't make sense because you're talking about pot and trees being different... I am not sure of your termonolgy but here in the states weed=marijuana=trees=pot=grass... So when I say "trees," I mean marijuana. I just use the term trees because that's what most of my friends use.

Quote:

Thats the killer blow, we are taxed shockingly high in my country and our government cannot beat the cheap tobacco prices in the black market, or even the wine smuggled in from lower taxed areas of Europe. As I said, it may be different in the US, but it's a reality in my country now - the state cannot undercut the criminals.

*edit*
I am under the impression that you see nothing wrong ever with pot smoking and thats fair enough if it's your own personal experience, I'll accept it's your view. I tend to look to the wider picture though and am more easily able to accept that some people I've known in life would have had a better life experience if they'd smoked less pot than they have. As my Grandmother used to say, "everything in moderation" ;)


Well then your country may need to lower those taxes to compete. But even if they don't, then it is still no bother. Right now, with trees being illegal, ALL marijuana comes from the black market. If you legalize it, then some won't. So even if there still is a black market, it will be smaller simply because some people will get their weed legally...
deanhills
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Of course it does. But my point is that if you take away the stoner's welfare then they'll be forced to get a job. That's just how it works... Because of that, I know many stoners who work and continue to be productive people in society. They usually then cut back on the trees and only smoke on weekends.
Don't know why, but the first picture I got in my head of the kind of job a stoner would go for, would be drug running or prostitution? An easy and quick solution so that they can get their next fix as soon as they can? And this is possibly how they get involved with heavier drugs?
Afaceinthematrix
deanhills wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Of course it does. But my point is that if you take away the stoner's welfare then they'll be forced to get a job. That's just how it works... Because of that, I know many stoners who work and continue to be productive people in society. They usually then cut back on the trees and only smoke on weekends.
Don't know why, but the first picture I got in my head of the kind of job a stoner would go for, would be drug running or prostitution? An easy and quick solution so that they can get their next fix as soon as they can? And this is possibly how they get involved with heavier drugs?


They most likely will not get involved in heavier drugs. The "gateway drug" theory is a joke. It's an old wivestale'. And these people probably wouldn't get involved in drug running or prostitution - especially with marijuana. Most marijuana smokers hold normal jobs or even go to school.

And what if they did get involved in drug running? Well if marijuana was legal then there would be almost no illegal drug selling and so that handles that. Case closed. We kill two birds with one stone.

And then prostitution? So freakin' what? I never understood why prostitution was illegal in the first place. That's another place where immoral scumbags who do not believe in freedom are putting their noses where it doesn't belong. The only reason that it is illegal is that they think it's "immoral" and so they want to push their stupid religious beliefs onto everyone else in the expense of basic freedom. Plus it's outrages in that illegal prostitutes have no where to go when they're abused by clients because it is illegal. So by believing that it should be illegal, you're enabling violence onto some people.
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