The debate over legalization of cannabis

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

  1. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    No offence guys, and I'm not trying to undermine your movement, since I fundamentally agree with it, but you have to know how this looks to an outsider:

    A: "Legalize weed! It's not bad for you!"
    B: "But there is conflicting evidence, some say it might be bad for you!"
    A: "No, it's not bad for you at all!"
    B: "But these studies!" Provides links
    A: "Well, whatever, I know it's not bad for you, despite studies that say otherwise."

    I think that approach is going to ultimately slow the progress you make. Try, instead, to be less convinced and more convincing. Seriously, there are scientific studies that claim that cannabis is not as harmful as the government says it is. Start to get to know those studies and use them. Just saying "You're wrong, because I know better than you and I don't have to explain why," or "I use this, therefore I know more about it than everyone else," just doesn't get you anywhere in an argument.
     
  2. Dumple Stilzkin

    Dumple Stilzkin Special needs member

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    Some people are so misinformed about how decriminalization is working in states like where I live (Washington). Nobody is running television ads for cannabis. For the most part it's been an interesting transition to watch, at first people were excited to see it be legalized and were really irresponsible. Smoking it out in public way more than I used to see or smell. But that's died down. I voted for it, as someone who has done it off and on for years I know it to be a better recreational choice for me over beer.
     
  3. AngstRiddenDreams

    AngstRiddenDreams Filthy Casual

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    For some reason you have it in your head that's what people are saying when they say the support legalization, when in reality the legalization movement has never been based around it being completely harmless. I've never said it's completely harmless. I have said and will stand by the fact however that it's much less harmful to use than alcohol or tobacco, both of which are legal. So unless you're spearheading the criminalization of alcohol or tobacco, you're the one hindering our progress getting caught up on the semantics of the issue.

    When people say it's not bad for you, they more often than not don't mean, "it's 100% safe, gluten-free vegan marijuana!", they're saying, "smoking a little pot isn't going to kill you or send you spiraling down a self-destructive path from which you'll never recover".
    Like Vilk said, compare it to eating fast food on a day to day basis. We know that eating McDonald's daily will shorten your life expectancy and give you health problems, but if someone offered you a Big Mac would you say, "no that's unsafe"?
     
  4. mongey

    mongey SS.org Regular

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    unless your the government, I guess
     
  5. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I dunno if this is a whole other can o' worms, but what exactly IS the movement about? And I don't mean "what are some good arguments to legalize", cause there are lots of those, and they've been discussed already, but I mean "what are the real reasons people are personally motivated to support legalization"? And the answer I would guess at, based only on personal experience and anecdotes, is that people just want their buzz. Granted I'm in Canada, so the situation is a bit different here, but I've met zero people who really care about the societal implications of legalization, they just want to smoke. I mean that in the sense that the strongest advocates for legalization that I encounter are also the ones suffering from what I consider to be the negative effects of it and denying it has impacted them. The people who have formed strong habits but claim they could "stop whenever they want", but then pull a 180 as soon as they're short on cash and decide to buy more weed instead of food for their kids, opting to bum food and gas money from family and friends instead. The people who use the drug to relieve themselves of the symptoms of their personal problems instead of dealing with them as adults.

    I've had these kinds of conversations before:
    "Why do you want this to be legal?"
    "It can cure cancer! Or at least relieve some symptoms!"
    "But you don't have cancer."
    "..."
    "And nobody you know who has had cancer smoked."
    "..."
    "And everyone you know who's had cancer already had viable treatment and relief options"
    "..."
    "..."
    "I just want to smoke some weed, what's so wrong about that?"
     
  6. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    I feel that the movement to legalize is organized around these principles:

    1. Originally prohibition was medically/scientifically foundation-less, and more than likely organized specifically to harm the opportunity of minorities and anti-war activists. The origins of marijuana prohibition is unarguably a unilateral attack against American citizens who did not support some specific agenda.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    2. It's a mostly untapped industry, and has so far proven to create tons of tax revenue. Which we as a nation desperately, desperately need.

    3. We know it's less physiologically harmful than many other substances which are wholly legal to consume, and especially if not used consistently. You can't even OD.

    4. We know it does in fact have therapeutic value.

    5. Marijuana prohibition has been traditionally and is still presently used to line our prisons. The United States already has the highest ratio of imprisoned citizens as compared with any other nation on earth, developed or otherwise. Usually and most often disproportionately affecting darker-skinned people.

    ------------------------------------

    The War on Drugs is evidently just a tool of fascism, forced conformity of value. It's already illegal to sell unregulated products for human consumption. Human beings have been smoking, consuming intoxicants for recreation since before recorded history. One might even argue that it's more intrinsically connected to the human condition than is literature. I don't know who decided or why that getting f///ed up is some morally reprehensible action, but frankly the principle foundation of the United States of America says that WE the people should be able to decide how this place runs, and cannabis prohibition is a blatant, obvious representation of the will of the people being suppressed by autocracy. But now I'm rambling lol

    That might be the butt of your joke, but in my opinion it is a crucial and on-point argument, as simple as it is.
     
  7. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Well, that's not exactly what you said. You said it was safer than the car fumes inhaled by driving through rush hour traffic.

    How am I hindering legalization?!

    Also, alcohol is criminalized between the ages of 18-21.

    As far as your hyperboles, I have honestly heard both of those arguments before. Even though most people on either side of the debate don't go that far, the ones who do go all the way into bizarre rationale seem to be the most willing to tell everyone about it. Kind of where we are in Vermont now, is that the state congress doesn't even want to have the debate anymore, since they tried it, and it simply acted as an open invitations for all of these whacky people on both sides to come out of the woodwork and get really fired up. The governor came out and said, plainly, that he thinks there will be a time for legalization, but there are just too many way more important things going on right now.

    Right, but the government has "authority." They make the rules. If they want to have something be illegal, then it is illegal. That's my whole point. If you want to convince the government to legalize pot, the argument that you know it's harmless, because you are doing it all of the time and you haven't died from it is not going to help you at all.

    Same. I was hoping this thread would get the argument to branch out a little more than it has, so far.

    Pretty on point. Hemp was a huge cash crop in early American history. Hemp rope is still some of the most effective, cost-appropriate rope available. Folks in the 17th and 18th centuries didn't really seem interested in smoking it, though, or if they did, no one seemed to really care that they did enough to make any record of it. 19th century legislation on cannabis was by state, and simply addressed it's medicinal use and went after dealers rather than users. It wasn't until the prohibition of alcohol that things really stepped up, probably because folks who wanted to get drunk, but couldn't easily obtain alcohol, realized that they could roll a joint instead, and that angered the temperance people.

    Ok, I'm not going to disagree with you that it should be legalized and taxed, but taxation does not lead to prosperity. If it's taxed too much, the black market for it will simply continue. The key is in finding a balance that eliminates the black market entirely or almost entirely, but also generates revenue.

    But we really don't know. That's my point. Claiming to know over and over again without any proof to back it up is just going to start to convince people not to listen to you. Can you find a scientific study comparing the long term health effects of cannabis use to the long term health effects of a sugary diet? Hint: you can't, because the first half of the study hasn't yet been done. Some small studies showing effects on cognition and memory have been mostly negative, but only slightly so, mostly because they are not terribly conclusive.

    See above. A few anecdotes. Mostly people parroting the same conjecture-based arguments as fact. Data?

    Agreed. This is a stronger point. But why is it point #5 and not point #1?

    Maybe it is or maybe there's more to it. I think this is a part of it, but I think there is strong evidence that there is more to it as well. I also think that making the statement of such without supporting evidence is an easy way to get caught up in a tangential argument that keeps both parties from resolving the bigger issue.

    What else were humans doing before recorded history? Murder, slavery, rape? What point does that prove?

    Didn't you retract an identical statement before in another thread?

    Who decided were government authorities of the early 20th century. Why was because it was thought to have a negative effect on the productivity of society as a whole. Actually, that argument might have some truth to it, but I think it doesn't matter, because the role of government was never supposed to be in deciding what was good or bad for society. Starting in the 19th century and culminating in the first half of the 20th century, governments around the globe got involved in the day-to-day life of regular folks, and tried to completely supplant society and community. That's my biggest gripe with the way things are now - government's role has spilled over into the roles of society and community, which is why we have so little sense of society and community now. Cannabis is not a government issue - government has a specific role to keep people from killing each other, stealing from each other, and limiting each other's personal liberties. Cannabis falls within exactly zero of those roles.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
  8. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Don't get me wrong, I agree. I see it as simple as "if I can come home and get drunk if I want, why shouldn't I be allowed to get high instead?" I'd prefer that people do neither most of the time, but I fully support people's freedom to do so.

    My point is more that the conversations dance around the point that people really just want to get high. Thoughtful discussion on forums aside, Joe Blow advocating for legalization is doing it because he wants to smoke, not because he cares about the societal impact. In my opinion, obviously.
     
  9. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    Some psychologists would argue that if you boil anything long and hot enough it reduces into self-interest or greed. I didn't donate money to the charity because I care about societal impact; I only did it to subconsciously give myself an ego boost. I didn't vote for environmental protection regulations because I care about societal impact; I'm really only thinking of my own health, and maybe my friends and family.
     
  10. Randy

    Randy Ooh, Degrasse Tyson-son Super Moderator

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    I'm in favor of the legalization or at least the de-criminalization and reclassification of cannabis, and I don't even smoke pot. I tried it twice when I was maybe 14 years old just because I was a kid, but ultimately decided, outside of the legal hurdles, I didn't want to smoke it for the same reason I don't smoke cigarettes.

    It's kinda sad that people are only able to argue in favor of things based on their own self interests, or that the perception out there is that's the only reason.

    Sometimes, things are just morally "right or wrong", and the right thing is to speak up for that reason and nothing else. I'm not gay or transgender but I see people mistreated or singled out negatively for identifying that way, so I speak out. I'm not a woman but I see women mistreated in the workplace, so I speak out, etc.

    And that's not just some SJW, "Captain Fedora to the rescue" BS. I've been singled out or had decisions I've made (even being a musician or having long hair) make me the target of harassment. It's not right to have certain things leveraged against you just for being who you are, because other people have a preconception.

    Anyway, this is all a little OT but I think the same applies to cannabis. I've known people (do not currently interact with any) who socially or habitually smoke marijuana, and I had a negative opinion of it and of them at the time, so this new position isn't swayed at all by a personal interest in it or connection to anybody I know personally that wants it.

    Whew, I hope that prefaced thing sufficiently for y'all.

    Objectively, I see the fact that it's been deemed suitable for treatment of specific diseases and afflictions in some states (that did due diligence in their research, to the extent it was possible). We live in a country with a broken healthcare system where the bureaucracy and the expense just to get insurance, go to a doctor, get pills, etc. is such a nightmare right now, and meanwhile, marijuana can treat SOME of those things, and it's essentially medicine you can grow yourself and comes right out of the ground ready to use. That's not to say it doesn't have it's minuses or that it's a cure-all, but the stuff you pay $400 a month, $50 a visit and another $50 per bottle to take are no greater guarantee of curing you and certainly no greater assurance against side-effects.

    When you see things like marijuana being 'schedule 1' and cocaine being 'schedule 2', and the motivations of some of the people behind the war against marijuana in the beginning (did anybody watch the John Oliver clip I posted, or is everybody just speeding on past everything so they can just post their opinions..? :scratch:), I've gotta start thinking the outsized demonization of cannabis goes beyond just being done out of safety concerns for the people of this country. Even if that path doesn't end at full recreational legalization, I'd like to loosen things up enough to peel back the stigma some before we say the topic has been fully visited and we're still considering it poison.
     
  11. Randy

    Randy Ooh, Degrasse Tyson-son Super Moderator

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    Ho-hum. I don't want to make this personal but you've turned the volume up to the point, I'll admit I absolutely AM ignoring and skipping your posts because they've all got the trajectory of "Oh, I'm totally open minded on this, but you haven't done a good enough job convincing me yet" and then you put up straw men or passive aggressively take shots that are ABSOLUTELY frontloaded with bias.

    At this point, it just sounds like "bostjan takes on all comers", where this is like some kind of exhibition for you to show how nobody else's arguments or logic can stand up to your own. I won't say that everyone else has constructed airtight arguments but their posts are no more "I like pot, man" than yours are you just listening to yourself talk. This whole implication like you're objectively open to new ideas is a smoke screen.
     
  12. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I kind of a agree with that philosophy, to a point. Or a version of it. But that's a whole other topic of discussion. :lol:

    I'm with you 100% on all of the above.

    I'm probably wrong about the idea of "most people" being motivated by their personal desire to get high. Anecdotally, those are the people I seem to run into in person though. Or maybe they're the loudest advocates I run into. I just like the idea of people being upfront about their motivations instead of reaching for lists of factoids that don't apply to them.
     
  13. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Randy, that's totally off my point.

    1. Where did I claim to be open minded about this? I know which outcome I want, and it's congruent with yours.
    2. What straw men?
    3. What bias?
    4. If you are not reading my posts, then how would you be aware of any of the above?

    The only thing about your post I can agree with you on is that this thread seems like I like hearing myself talk, because no one is really listening.

    But then, if this thread was just a bunch of "I like pot, man" posts, then what is the point of having a debate over legalization?

    Since you are a board moderator, and I read that as you accusing me of taking personal shots at other users here, I take your post pretty seriously. If you wish to supply me with some specifics, I would appreciate it and reflect on those. And if there are no specifics, and you take some disciplinary action against me without basis, then, to me, it not only proves several of my points above, but it proves that we cannot even have a healthy debate over cannabis.
     
  14. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    The point I was aiming for is that modern people are taught DRUGS R BAD M'KAY and take that at face value. Even many people who eventually use drugs will subconsciously feel that they are doing a "bad thing". But this has no basis in perennial morality/humanism. Abusing your body is perhaps "bad", but then again it is your body, and does drug use always = abusing your body? There were times in history when using powerful, mind altering drugs was considered a religious experience, and people who used them were revered.

    DRUGS = BAD is a modern, fabricated opinion that people shouldn't feel bound to agree with. That was my only point with regards to human history.

    I think there's a case to be made that certain chemical compounds shouldn't be consumed irrespective of them being intoxicants, but that is different than to say universally that getting high is a morally sinful action.
     
  15. n4t

    n4t SS.org Regular

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    Whether its pot or women's health the answer is simple:

    It is not the governments business. Period.

    In every case these 'laws' are set up due to lawmakers owning interest in the private sector that they are trying to protect, or they are trying to persecute a group of people. In no case are these laws instated due to public health and safety concerns.

    The reason they get away with it is because they exploit the narrow-minded, fearful, ignorant portion of the population (most of it). These are 'people' that think they should have the right to tell you how to live your life in any personal way they decide, because they are ultimately fearful that if everyone doesn't behave in their model (which they hypocritically fail to do themselves) that it will ultimately affect them negatively.

    Conservatives are innately fearful people (science has proven) who will gladly transgress any right or freedom of YOURS to assuage their numerous fears.

    TLDR: Fear and Ignorance are a very bad mix.
     
  16. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    These days DRUGS (on this list) = BAD; DRUGS (on this other list) = GOOD

    You have a good point that the case against cannabis is essentially all hearsay. What makes it worse is that there were decades during which discussing the case against cannabis was taboo.

    The whole idea of "this is a sinful action," is weird, to me. There are logical reasons why some things are bad: murder, theft, etc. From there, though, the line one draws in the sand is interpretive and probably subjective.

    Does the Bible, the Talmud, the Koran, or the Vedas say anything about cannabis? In the cases where the answer is "no," why do those religions forbid its use?
     
  17. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    ^I didn't mean sinful in a strictly religious sense; I was using floral language. But I know that cannabis is used in some certain Hindu celebration where it is drank. It's called bahng (idk how to spell it) and I think it's where we get the word "bong". I believe it's a Shiva worship?
     
  18. n4t

    n4t SS.org Regular

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    I believe the bible classifies drug use as 'Sorcery' which falls into the whole 'thou shalt have no other God' thing.

    Just to clarify.
     
  19. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I'd like to see the verse, if you have a reference to it.

    Hmm, I didn't know it was from India. I thought the origin was Vietnamese.
     
  20. Randy

    Randy Ooh, Degrasse Tyson-son Super Moderator

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    s
    Those are observations made from when I was still paying attention, and from quotes of yours in posts I'm actually reading. Despite only posting in here a couple times, I've opened this thread every couple days just to see what's new. TedEH brought up a point I've seen before, and he seemed to be reflective enough in his delivery that I thought my alternative experiences might be of some value to him or this discussion, hence my decision to (temporarily) rejoin.

    My lack of desire to engage you on every point or to jump in should work as a representation of how passionate I am about this topic (eh), and how interested I am in engaging you in it (double eh).

    I don't know where it fits into this discussion but as I said, I don't smoke pot and nobody I'm currently close friends openly share with me that they do (what they do behind closed doors, I have no idea). The only person I engage in this discussion with outside of this forum is someone who's my best friend for the last 25 years, our positions on almost everything are interchangeable with one another, but he hates marijuana, he openly states everyone he knows who's done it regularly "are dumb", he hates "smelling skunk on teenagers whenever he goes to the store", and he works in a doctors office where, whenever somebody comes in and mentions a history of long term cannabis use "they have other ailments, and they're stupid".

    I might be projecting my experience discussing this with my friend onto THIS debate too much, but I absolutely hear shades of this same, biased by personal anecdotal experience, rationale sprinkled into your (bostjan's) posts; and while worded somewhat eloquently, they sound no more objective than "I like pot, man".

    Perhaps some of my vitriol stems from that, I don't know.

    Not worth digging to deep into that one. I ban very few people, and if/when it's been for 'name calling' in a debate, it's usually of the more 'school yard' variety. I absolutely think you're being disrespectful of other people's positions in the interest of feeding the narrative of you as some kind of pious judge on what's credible and not, right or wrong; but the repercussion of that are for other people to engage you or ignore you, and make you inconsequential. That's not the kind of thing I think I need to ban you or anybody else over.

    As an aside, this is not a democracy and this is not a thickly judicious system either. I do my best to be fair but we're unpaid moderators (a very small bunch, at that) and dealing out punishment is absolutely at our discretion. You can point to the rules all you want but one reins supreme, and there's a reason it's last and bolded:

    ...this is a tough job and if objectively I decide that you're skirting rules to still figure out a way to be a nuisance, I absolutely maintain the right to ban anybody. No, that's not directed at anybody in this debate or this thread but I think sometimes we need a reminder. This is not a court of law, there's no jury and there's no appeals. If you don't like it, post elsewhere or don't post at all.
     

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