The debate over legalization of cannabis

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by bostjan, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. CapnForsaggio

    CapnForsaggio Cap'n (general)

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    I'm done with this. The quoted line was in response to 50x stories about "how I knew a guy that smoked and he's a lawyer..."

    The argument I presented was an equatable statement from the other direction.

    We all know potheads that are successful.

    Do you think it is a COINCIDENT that nearly 100% of incarcerated individuals used MJ when they were young?

    If you can't see the relevance, and think it is a bogus "strawman,"

    well, I'm done anyway.
     
  2. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    Also, nearly 100% of incarcerated individuals drank apple juice

    Coincident? I think not.

    These people drink their AJ until they get diabetes, and then the gov't wants to regressivly tax me, they might as well join the KKK or the 1%ers
     
  3. JSanta

    JSanta SS.org Regular

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    All survey's are flawed because they require individuals to be honest in their responses. The parameters of the research were left out in terms of how they segmented the population and gained access to the individuals that actually responded. As a researcher, we have different mechanisms to ensure anonymity, and I've never felt uncomfortable answering questions if personal information other than the basis like age, race, and gender were needed.

    Quantitative analysis is essential for gaining true insight into what is happening within any given segment. You don't necessarily need to believe the numbers, but given that this particular report found increased numbers of users because of legality, it does not appear that respondents were reluctant to answer truthfully. To your point, the numbers could be even higher (pun intended).
     
  4. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    The bit about that data that makes me doubt it's usefulness in the conversation is the "last 30 days" part because that means that people who smoke occasionally, but just not lately are being excluded, but people who are trying it now that it's legal but might never try it again are being included. The level of honesty also probably factors into it. Maybe it's just me, but 5% doesn't sound like a significant difference given the 30-days thing. The way the question is formed tells us very little about actual usage patterns, IMO. There's no distinction being made between people who smoke every day, and someone who's just curious now that it's an ok thing to do.
     
  5. JSanta

    JSanta SS.org Regular

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    Fair point - but that was not part of what their research parameters appeared to be. My initial response was because someone said people would not be more likely to use if illicit substances were made legal; the article demonstrated a counterpoint to that assertion. The question was not would people be more likely to become long term users, just if they would try drugs (in this case marijuana) should its legality change.

    Without being able to see their numbers, it's difficult to discern if their 5% number has statistical significance, but the point remains there still are a lot of unknowns regarding what happens when/if certain drugs are made available for recreational use.
     
  6. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    ^ I think that's fair. My gut reaction is that actual long-term usage would change very little.

    I also feel like it's important to make distinctions between patterns of use, which doesn't always happen in these kinds of conversations. It doesn't seem meaningful to me to ask the question "is x dangerous" without the context of how you use it. Just look at that conversation we had on another thread about whether or not certain foods are dangerous- you can find patterns of use that are dangerous for just about anything, but without defining what constitutes normal use, it's not really useful to issue a blanket statement of "x is dangerous if you use it at all". It's weird to be told in one thread that a glass of milk is bad for me, but in another thread, we're talking about how it's ok to do drugs.

    I do definitely think there are "dangerous" usage patterns- like I've seen people use weed as a crutch to avoid dealing with their problems, or people who just smoke waaaaaaay to much and embody that unproductive stoner stereotype, but I also know people who use it the same way someone might have a beer on a Friday after work to start off the weekend. But other substances have similarly "bad" usage patterns that people fall into all the time without being labeled a criminal for it.
     
  7. JSanta

    JSanta SS.org Regular

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    Right - you need to contextualize information. But one study can really only focus on limited spaces because of the amount of time it takes to do a study. It's important for us not necessarily to fault what the research didn't do, but allow that research to be a stepping stone into other research.
     
  8. Randy

    Randy Ooh, Degrasse Tyson-son Super Moderator

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  9. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    VT bill won't even get debated.
     
  10. flint757

    flint757 SS.org Regular

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    https://www.texasobserver.org/marijuana-decriminalization-bill-advances-past-committee-gop-support/

    Not quite medical use or legalization per se, but they're talking about reducing the penalty to a simple fine with a 3-strike ruling that can raise it to a Class C misdemeanor. That's a huge improvement from what is currently in place. Currently, the lowest penalty for outright marijuana possession in Texas is a Class B misdemeanor, assuming your lawyer can't do some magic to get the penalty reduced. I imagine repeat offenses under current law increase the penalty as well.
     
  11. russmuller

    russmuller Cramblin' Contributor

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    Legalize it. Tax it. Regulate it. Research and medicalize it.

    The fact that we haven't already done this in the USA is mind-boggling to me. I haven't heard a single counter-argument that makes any real sense. I think a lot of the problem is that the conservative movement, at least in the public discourse, is so entrenched in prohibition and shaming cannabis users that they're going to fight it to the very end.
     
  12. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    ^using anecdotes and caricatures only. But as far as I can tell, in it's present state, the Right half of America has absolutely no interest even superficially in data, statistics, scientific research, etc.
     
  13. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I would contend that both sides have a significant amount of confirmation bias. Of course, facebook is the worst place for any sort of logical debate, but I see an awful lot of pseudoscience on my feed from both sides. My pro-pot friends all think that I'm a narc and my anti-pot friends all think I'm a hippy, so I usually try not to post on facebook, no matter how much of an impulse I get to say something.
     
  14. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    here's a short list for the right
    1. Denying either the human affect on global warming or simply denying global warming outright
    2. equating validity of evolutionary theory and biblical creationism
    3. Inflammatory travel bans that can only potentially increase security a fraction of an iota of a ten-thousandth of a percent
    4. marijuana is too dangerous to be made publicly available; no medicinal value

    What kind of list do we have for the Left?
    1. Ignoring that sometimes gun availability can lead to crime decrease
    ...but that's all I can come up with. Do we see other cases of the Left pushing ideas that fly in direct opposition of the world's amassed scientific understanding? I should think there are more so I want anyone to list them if they could.


    Not to take it too far off topic. Even though I do believe confirmation bias permeates all sides of a political spectrum, I feel that in the United States the Right clearly takes comparatively more anti-science positions, Marijuana prohibition being a prime example.
     
  15. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Naw, I meant specifically in regard to the marijuana debate. Things about cannabis curing cancer, versus cannabis getting people addicted to crack. Neither has an ounce of evidence.

    Can it help people relax? Sure. Can it cure cancer? Nope.

    Can it make people paranoid? Sure, probably only temporarily, though. Can it lead to harder drugs? Maybe, but only in cases where it's illegal (if a person is trying to score cannabis from a dealer and the dealer says "Nope, all out, here try this crack instead" - pretty far fetched, but it might get one person in a million to smoke crack).

    ----

    Extending out to the politics debate and science denial in general, it's really the trademark of the fundamentalist christian right. Dare I say, though, that a majority of the right, and a majority of christians don't prescribe to that level of illogic.

    However, I have seen plenty of cases where people used pseudoscience or a misinterpreted scientific study to further a political agenda for the left. Think of the New Age movement, for example. It appealed way more to the left than to the right.

    But that's not the argument I was trying to make above, and it's really neither here nor there with respect to cannabis.

    -----

    Can anybody admit that there are studies both that suggest cannabis is potentially useful in medicine in some cases, and suggest that cannabis can be dangerous in other cases?

    Okay, well, either way, should it be an imprisonable offence to use cannabis? That's where the logic totally breaks down for me. What's the societal benefit to jailing cannabis users?!
     
  16. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    I've never heard of a study that shows cannabis use to be dangerous, unless it's taken to some kind of extreme and excessive degree (actually, I'm not even sure I've seen that). The problem with that logic is that anything and everything is dangerous when taken to an extremely excessive degree. Cheeseburgers, water, ibuprofen, downhill skiing... To say that smoking weed all day every day affects your cognitive function is redundant. Doing absolutely anything all day every day affects your cognitive function.
     
  17. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Well, these sorts of studies are the most common. There are some articles that claim to link paranoia with cannabis use, as well.

    We've already had the driving safety debate.

    There should be plenty of willing subjects, though, so I don't see why we shouldn't finish a few more studies to nail this down better. If the substance can ease Parkinson's without too many side-effects, then why not?
     
  18. AngstRiddenDreams

    AngstRiddenDreams Filthy Casual

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    See the thing about those studies is that alcohol also affects the brain development of teens. Not only that, but legalization has decreased the black market sales in states that have it which in turn makes it harder for young adults/teens to access. The guy on the street corner only cares if you have money.

    I'm with Vilk here though. Marijuana use is less dangerous than inhaling car fumes during rush hour (if we're talking vaporization, ingesting orally)
     
  19. russmuller

    russmuller Cramblin' Contributor

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    This is largely a result of its schedule 1 status (at least in the US anyway).

    I DO have to agree that there's a lot of confirmation bias, irrationality, and anecdotal evidence on both sides of the debate.

    On the left you have the nutbars who think that cannabis cures everything and big pharma/big cancer is engaged in a conspiracy to prevent life-changing therapies from being developed to defend their profits. "ZOMG, THC kills all these things in a petri dish!" without realizing that bullets also kill cancer cells in a petri dish. That doesn't mean it's a viable treatment or cure for anything.

    On the right, you have the reefer madness fear-mongers who insist that it is a moral crime and personal failing to use a particular plant. If you smoke marijuana, you're a bad person with no motivation, destined for failure in life. Like Ann Coulter's compelling tale about "I had a pool guy that smoked pot, and he was so bad/unreliable that I had to fire him."

    The truth, of course, is in the middle. While it's not a cure-all, I do think the evidence is clear that there is real medical potential for many compounds found in cannabis. It's also clear that recreational use is nowhere near as dangerous and socially detrimental as prohibitionists claim.
     
  20. mongey

    mongey SS.org Regular

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    weed may or may not be dangerous.I think its risks are minimal . but I'm not a Dr or an expert . just a ex smoker guy who smoked allot of weed in his time

    I can say 100% that weed grown legally and safely is allot less dangerous than weed grown and sold in an illegal operation
     

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