Video: Time to legalize marijuana?

posted at 10:15 am on April 19, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Nick Gillespie at Reason TV gives three reasons for the US to legalize and regulate marijuana on the same basis as alcohol. Think of this as a kitchen-sink presentation, as Nick gives a smorgasbord of motivations. Think the government needs more revenue? Taxes could net as much as $6 billion a year, and ending prohibition will save another $8 billion. He also uses a traditional libertarian argument, as well as the pessimistic fatalist argument:

1. The tax revenue and law enforcement savings. A 2005 cost-benefit analysis done by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron found that legalizing marijuana and taxing it similar to alcohol would generate over $6 billion in new revenue and save nearly $8 billion in direct law enforcement costs. Pot is already the biggest cash crop in many states; bringing it into the open market would pump all sorts of energy into the economy.

2. It’s going to happen anyway, so why delay the inevitable? Increasing numbers of Americans realize that pot prohibition is an ineffective and costly policy. A 2009 poll by Zogby found that 52 percent of Americans agreed that marijuana should be taxed and regulated like booze. A Field Poll last year of California residents, who will vote on a legalization ballot initiative in the fall, found that 56 percent wanted legalization. Other polls show historically high percentages favoring legalization. In a world of busted budgets, it’s crystal clear that spending time and energy policing marijuana is not worth it.

3. Keep Your Laws Off Our Bodies. Never mind that by virtually every measure, pot is safer and less than disruptive than booze. Pot prohibition in the 1930s was the result of hysteria, not serious threats to society. We own our bodies and should be free to eat, drink, and smoke what we want. And to take responsibility for our actions, whether we’re straight or we’re stoned.

In my mind, the only fully legitimate argument among the three is the last. I don’t think the federal government needs more revenue, and I’m a little surprised to hear a libertarian offer that as a feature rather than a bug.  The reduction in law-enforcement cost is a good argument, but that’s more of a side effect from the third argument rather than the first.  After all, additional taxes and regulation will bring its own government costs.  Inevitability in this case is rather weak; when it’s legalized, it will be legalized, but that doesn’t necessarily make it inevitable.  If it happens, we can then set those effective and efficient controls.

I agree, though, that marijuana intake is a personal decision in the same sense as alcohol.  The two don’t differ much in terms of danger to the user or those around the user, and alcohol is more toxic.  While we’re marching in the streets to demand an end to nanny-state policies, we should at least reconsider this 72-year-old nanny-state anachronism.


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The influence on kids life’s would be disastrous…just read some of the arguments and you can see how tainted the thinking of people who use pot is.

right2bright on April 19, 2010 at 3:16 PM

You’re coming in a strong second on the use of a symptom of prohibition to justify continuing it. Guess you’re ignoring that as a policy, prohibition is NOT keeping the stuff out of the hands of adolescents. And if by ‘tainted the thinking’, you mean ‘able to tell the emperor has no clothes’, and that you have nothing but paranoia at bargain basement discount prices. . .

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 3:24 PM

1) Civil asset forfeiture laws give LEOs a perverse incentive. If the cops simply claim that an item you own (i.e., car, home, boat, etc.) was purchased with “drug profits”, your whatsoever.

This is very important concept in law. The right to reasonable bail in 18th amendment. It’s based in old English law. Its an important concept. If a trades man tools is seized and excessive bail it is unjust and presumption of guilt, removing the ability of the defendant to defend him self by impoverishment. The 5th amendment says, “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Only if it is direct evidence can property be taken. But don’t let a silly thing like the constitution get in your way of having a police state. Many times people carrying large sums of money are assumed to be dealing drugs or some other crime, with no other evidence and the money is seized. It has happen a lot.

Ed Laskie on April 19, 2010 at 3:35 PM

The thought of having a country full of Jesse Ventura and Bill Mahar types running around doesn’t appeal to me, so I say no thanks.

OxyCon on April 19, 2010 at 3:39 PM

You’re coming in a strong second on the use of a symptom of prohibition to justify continuing it. Guess you’re ignoring that as a policy, prohibition is NOT keeping the stuff out of the hands of adolescents. And if by ‘tainted the thinking’, you mean ‘able to tell the emperor has no clothes’, and that you have nothing but paranoia at bargain basement discount prices. . .

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 3:24 PM

In previous posts I had links to back up my assertions…the problem with hoping in the middle of an argument, is that you don’t know the argument.
I was speaking specifically about one issue, I addressed others.
“Tainted” by reading some of the counter arguments, like when I posted (with links) about the number of kids killed in accidents and high on pot…the argument was well they all could have been smoking it 24 hours before and it showed up in tests but it didn’t mean they were smoking it at the time or were high…we are talking about thousands of accidents.
Want more “taint”?
Now go back and catch up, or move on, but don’t get in the middle of something you don’t understand.
Thanks…

right2bright on April 19, 2010 at 3:40 PM

It’s really fascinating how pro-prohibition conservatives are immediately reduced to lefty talking points once drug legalization comes into play.

Suddenly it turns out it’s ok to screw with your freedom if using it may affect your health negatively or if some may abuse this freedom (like driving intoxicated). The exact same things lefties are saying about unhealthy food and guns.

Alexey on April 19, 2010 at 3:41 PM

right2bright on April 19, 2010 at 3:40 PM

So would you support outlawing alcohol and say banning people from driving their cars once a week?

Alexey on April 19, 2010 at 3:45 PM

If cigarette smoking is bad for your health so, is pot smoking, duh!

Jayrae on April 19, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Well there you have it.

Since it is bad for you, it is now the conservative
position that cigarettes should be prohibited.

JohnGalt23 on April 19, 2010 at 3:47 PM

More than 140 people reluctantly accepted that deal from June 2006 to June 2008, according to court records. Among them were a black grandmother from Akron, who surrendered $4,000 in cash after Tenaha police pulled her over, and an interracial couple from Houston, who gave up more than $6,000 after police threatened to seize their children and put them into foster care, the court documents show. Neither the grandmother nor the couple were charged with any crime.

See here

Ed Laskie on April 19, 2010 at 3:47 PM

Wouldn’t it be nice to turn the steady evolution of increasingly intrusive government coercion in our personal lives back the other direction for a change….

FloatingRock on April 19, 2010 at 3:53 PM

Legalization of drugs is the libertarian birtherism. Just when you start to take them serious they trot this old warhorse out.

DFCtomm on April 19, 2010 at 11:10 AM

So, of course you stopped taking William F. Buckley seriously when he called for legalization.

And of course you stopped taking George Schultz legally when he argued for legalization.

Likewise, you surely stopped taking Milton Friedman seriously when he called for legalization.

Funny thing though. Milton Friedman called for legalization from 1972 until the time of his death. And do you know who was taking Uncle Miltie very seriously that whole time. No less a conservative than Ronald Reagan.

You would argue that we shouldn’t take these men seriously.

I would argue just what about this argument encourages us to take

you

seriously.

JohnGalt23 on April 19, 2010 at 3:55 PM

This dudes argument seems counter-intuitive to me (if he is a stoner) Pot is generally cheap, available and high quality. Why let government ruin it?

AntonDomi on April 19, 2010 at 3:58 PM

I’m not a Libertarian per say, I’m a constitutionalist. Something wrong with the constitution?
Many Libertarian ideas are also ideas of the founding fathers.
I believe babies have a right to life, which many libertarians are now coming to realize. Although I believe in a strong military we have now depleted the treasury and it is time other freedom loving nations do their fare share. Many look to us for freedom. It’s sad we cannot provide it anymore, because we are selfs have lost it.

Ed Laskie on April 19, 2010 at 3:59 PM

What I find humorous is that the N. California pot growers are opposed to the California legalization effort. Why? It will depress their earnings.

chemman on April 19, 2010 at 11:32 AM

It would, in fact, nearly wipe their earnings out.

JohnGalt23 on April 19, 2010 at 4:02 PM

JohnGalt23 on April 19, 2010 at 3:55 PM

Don’t blame me. It is one of the first things that pops in the minds of people not familiar with libertarians. “Oh, those guys who want to legalize drugs.” is something I have heard before. This is an issue you had better be careful how you handle, because all your good ideals will be derailed by images of Cheech and Chong.

DFCtomm on April 19, 2010 at 4:09 PM

right2bright on April 19, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Oh, I think I understand ya pretty well, pal. Speaking of reading links, did you read the one I posted? And as far as ‘jumping into the middle of an argument’ goes, with what you’re spouting, it’s like tuning in on the local pop station as they play the Top 40 hit of the week for the umpteenth time that day – doesn’t matter if you catch the beginning, middle, or very end – same old song and dance.

Basically, your argument is that we need to keep it away from the kids. Fine, I agree with you there. You seem to miss the point that the method we’ve been using to accomplish that goal for the past 72 years has been a failure – of spectacular dimension.

The other part of your argument is that if legalized, there will be a bloodbath on the streets, from all of the intoxicated drivers – and the study you mentions that indicates THC (or residue) was present, doesn’t detail causality – because when causality is studied, the accidents where cannabis can be cited as the only factor are very, very, very low. . .

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 4:09 PM

JohnGalt23 on April 19, 2010 at 3:55 PM

I forgot. It doesn’t help your argument when one of your most notable spokesmen wears nothing but black T-shirts and a black leather jacket while talking about legalizing pot. You don’t want to conjure images of bad college frat movies while discussing policy.

DFCtomm on April 19, 2010 at 4:13 PM

NO TO LEGALIZING POT:
http://i41.tinypic.com/2nsnr0n.jpg

byteshredder on April 19, 2010 at 4:20 PM

I forgot. It doesn’t help your argument when one of your most notable spokesmen wears nothing but black T-shirts and a black leather jacket while talking about legalizing pot. You don’t want to conjure images of bad college frat movies while discussing policy.

DFCtomm on April 19, 2010 at 4:13 PM

You were discussing policy? I thought you were just dishing out all the idiotic stereotypes you had of people who don’t share your political views. What do leather jackets and Cheech and Chong have to do with policy?

John9400 on April 19, 2010 at 4:23 PM

4:20 PM

Bong time !!!

Jerome Horwitz on April 19, 2010 at 4:23 PM

byteshredder on April 19, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Great timing there. The discoloration may be a sign of overwatering.

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 4:28 PM

The thought of having a country full of Jesse Ventura and Bill Mahar types running around doesn’t appeal to me, so I say no thanks.

OxyCon on April 19, 2010 at 3:39 PM

.
Ummm, have you been outside lately?

ronsfi on April 19, 2010 at 4:29 PM

because when causality is studied, the accidents where cannabis can be cited as the only factor are very, very, very low. . .

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 4:09 PM

I am sorry “pal”, but you forgot to post the link the the very, very, very, low %.

Basically, your argument is that we need to keep it away from the kids.

And no, “pal” you didn’t understand, I pointed out I clearly stated that keeping it out of kids hands was only one of the many reasons.
But to carry your argument, if prohibition in drinking is such a failure, then we should what, just allow kids to drink?
That is many in the weed argument, why would you ever want another drug, easier to obtain, be available to kids who drive? I have never understood that reasoning.
Just because something does not achieve a stated goal, does not mean it is worthless. The expectations of perfection is a foolish path.
That’s like the foolish argument that parents give stating “I would rather have them drink at home, then have them out drinking”, as if the two are mutual exclusive.

right2bright on April 19, 2010 at 4:45 PM

So would you support outlawing alcohol and say banning people from driving their cars once a week?

Alexey on April 19, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Would you mind pointing out where I inferred such a thing…

right2bright on April 19, 2010 at 4:47 PM

So who will be responsible for growing it? That’s the biggest problem with legalization or regulation. Do you think those that grow it now want to pay tax on their income? Would they go to work for some government agency that oversees the growing? Maybe “big tobacco” would take on this endevour, but I doubt it. How long before some lawyers sue them for damages?

The clients of “medical marijuana despeneries” in Colo. pay sales tax, but the growers don’t. If the state considers it “medicine”, why is it not exempt from taxes like any other prescription?

Besides, why the hell would anyone want to give our government more money?

olddog3006 on April 19, 2010 at 4:52 PM

If this was a good idea it would have already been done by Clinton. And another thing, Mary Jane is as addictive as alcohol. Look at the TV specials on this topic. The people are gutting houses, backing brownies, acting like absolute crazed addicts to peddle and grow the stuff. Its like spores from some kind of horror movie. The drug is spreading itself in people to spread itself. Hw about someone like myself? I dont drink. I have no desire to smoke this crap nor have my kids see me smoke it after all these years of foghting to keep them off of it. Its a dumming-down drug. It will get out of hand. The only people franticly promoting it are those smoking it currently. Yes it may reduce stress, but the source of the stress if the problem, not compounsing it with lighting up MJ.

johnnyU on April 19, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Would you mind pointing out where I inferred such a thing…

Nowhere. Strange huh? You think it’s ok to destroy other peoples freedom to smoke pot because it’s being abused by some which leads to road accidents. One would expect you would be as passionate then in destroying freedom to drink alcohol and freedom to drive cars. Yet somehow you’re not. I wonder why.

That is many in the weed argument, why would you ever want another drug, easier to obtain, be available to kids who drive? I have never understood that reasoning.

Who would have thought, it’s all for the kids. What a striking difference with lefties banning foods and stealing your money. Also for the kids.

Alexey on April 19, 2010 at 4:58 PM

See, this is why we can’t have a nice Commerce Clause.

exception on April 19, 2010 at 5:01 PM

right2bright on April 19, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Yeah, I posted a link – go back a few pages.

Ok, so I picked a point we happen to agree on, and you’re gonna go and recycle the ‘but there were no WMD’s and that’s why you said we had to go to Iraq’ argument style. Wearing a Pink T-shirt at the ‘puter today, by chance?

But I’m sure your credentials as a bona fide prohibitionist give you a pass to use such techniques. . .

Unfortunately, it apparently leads you into a lather such that you barely make sense gibbering on about something I already said I agree with you about – keeping adolescents from ready access to cannabis.

True, expectations of the perfect being the obstacle of the possible are a bad thing. A worse thing is when the policy actually has the opposite effect of one of its stated goals – that’s not a desire for perfection, that’s a desire for the end to brainless lunacy. It’s a desire to try the possible, following a model which is already in place and working fairly well in our society today.

Despite the angst this obviously causes you, what, the thought that paramilitary cowboys will no longer be kicking in doors at the wrong address and shooting the family dog, and all, if we tried something different. Here, let me get you a tissue, lest a single teardrop fall at such a horrendous thought.

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 5:01 PM

Oh, yes… Because Americans really need to get even more stupid than we already are…

ErinF on April 19, 2010 at 5:08 PM

johnnyU on April 19, 2010 at 4:57 PM

If this isn’t satire, I’m lost…I was giggling the whole time.

You’re behind this, aren’t you?

Diane on April 19, 2010 at 5:16 PM

johnnyU on April 19, 2010 at 4:57 PM

The drug is spreading itself in people to spread itself.

See that’s where the problem lies: the illegal street weed you bought has been laced with PCP, as it sometimes does.

Alexey on April 19, 2010 at 5:25 PM

Don’t Legalize Drugs by Theodore Dalrymple

aengus on April 19, 2010 at 5:25 PM

It’s really fascinating how pro-prohibition conservatives are immediately reduced to lefty talking points once drug legalization comes into play.

If people (concerned conservatives and libertarians included) weren’t breaking the law on a regular basis we wouldn’t be having this discussion (except perhaps in relation to legitimate medical use of marijuana). Because people can’t do without, having made an illegal substance a significant part of their lives, there is interest in legalization beyond medical use.

Illicit drug users want to define deviancy down. They don’t want to be wierd or to be criminals anymore like when they were teens and got a rush from being so. But instead of just quitting they want the laws to change for them instead of just grow out of it. They don’t care whose friends or children begin to smoke pot as a consequence of the law teaching it’s just fine to do so. Just as long as they don’t have to grow the hell up up and quit smoking joints themselves, consequences to others is of no concern to them. Never has been.

You didn’t care about who got hurt through trafficing of marijuana for your pleasure/habit. You won’t care who starts using because the law says it’s OK. You can’t make a small personal sacrifice to obey the law and respect the society that has determined long before most of you were born that alcohol has an accepted place in society but pot is for deviants.

You say it’s about freedom but I say it’s about selfishness and about knocking the establishment. It’s your right to be self-centered and anti-establishment, but it was never your right to break drug laws because you felt like it. Now that you’ve created the drug cartels that bring dope in from Mexico, you blame economics instead of the sum of your own actions.

Children, grow up.

shuzilla on April 19, 2010 at 5:26 PM

Do you think there would be trafficing problems with marijuana if it were legal? That doesn’t even make sense– if anything, bringing up the profitability of drugs for gangs is an argument FOR legalization.

Principles, not deviancy, are behind the legalization argument. Most libertarians demanding reform of marijuana laws don’t smoke pot, they just don’t think the govt has a right to tell them what plants they can or can’t grow and use.

RachDubya on April 19, 2010 at 5:37 PM

The thought of having a country full of Jesse Ventura and Bill Mahar types running around doesn’t appeal to me, so I say no thanks.

OxyCon on April 19, 2010 at 3:39 PM
.
Ummm, have you been outside lately?

ronsfi on April 19, 2010 at 4:29 PM

Lol! Good one. No, I haven’t been outside lately. I spend my days shut-in reading blogs all day long, where there are even bigger a-holes then Ventura and Mahar! HA!

OxyCon on April 19, 2010 at 5:40 PM

You can’t make a small personal sacrifice to obey the law and respect the society that has determined long before most of you were born that alcohol has an accepted place in society but pot is for deviants.

shuzilla on April 19, 2010 at 5:26 PM

Lol. Getting drunk is accepted, but smoking pot makes you a deviant.

John9400 on April 19, 2010 at 5:46 PM

shuzilla on April 19, 2010 at 5:26 PM

Oh cut this crap would you! Every year thousands of innocent people are thrown to jail with your blessing just because they chose to relax in a way you dissaprove. Because they are “selfish” in thinking they can enjoy their life without some sanctimonious bigot telling them what is “accepted by society” and what not. You friends in Saudi Arabia are saying hello. You can actually learn quite from them about all those nasty “selfish” peoples. Only they include alcohol-drinkers and women without hijab in the list.

It’s also sickening how all your supposed care about your friends children (it’s all for the children!) seem to vanish once you deem something “accepted” like alchol. Let them become alcoholics but God forbid they become stoners.

It’s not about being childish. It’s about different worldwiews. You have some “moral” sentiments and you want to enforce them no matter how many innocents get hurt or who’s freedom is destroyed. Like I said your friends in arabic world feel for you. Only they prefer to just kill “deviants” at spot.

Alexey on April 19, 2010 at 5:48 PM

Most libertarians demanding reform of marijuana laws don’t smoke pot, they just don’t think the govt has a right to tell them what plants they can or can’t grow and use.

Not to mention the accompanying corruption of LEOs, violence wreaked on innocent citizens by drug criminals and LEOs or the abrogations of numerous civil liberties.

Plus the sadly amusing spectacle of the government bringing charges against inanimate objects.

Fatwa Arbuckle on April 19, 2010 at 5:48 PM

Lol. Getting drunk is accepted…

No, it isn’t. Which is why you can’t see the difference between alcohol and marijuana.

shuzilla on April 19, 2010 at 5:49 PM

consequences to others is of no concern to them. Never has been.
shuzilla on April 19, 2010 at 5:26 PM

Au contraire. mon shoegizzard. Concern for others is a huge point of my rationale for legalization. The innocents caught in the crossfire of an out of control prohibition effort, for starters. We’re talking actual dead folks. Not ‘druggies’ – but cops, and people who simply happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time – and were literally blown away. By mistake. Whoops.

I’m concerned that the entire situation has created an air of mistrust for our younger generations – who aren’t the totally brain dead slackers that a lot of nannyish types would like to write them off as – the ones who see the hypocrisy, and the blatant dis-information, not just being passed around by some whack jobs on the internet, but as a matter of course as the official policy of their government. Why are people so shocked and surprised that younger folks don’t trust ‘the establishment’ when the establishment has been blatantly propagandizing and lying to them? Got a good reason? Anyone? Beuller?

I’m concerned with the strong desire that a lot of people exhibit to extend their idea of ‘right’ and ‘proper’ to people and situations that they really and truly haven’t the foggiest clue about, only shopworn ‘what-if’ scare tactic cliches. As was stated earlier – nannies to the left of me, nannies to the right.

And I’m concerned with the overall ease that allows such a mindset to justify just about any amount of expensive, heinous, absurd, and wasteful abuse of taxpayer dollars, because it’s something that needs to be controlled, just because we say so.

Get some lotion and a tissue and go control yourself.

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 5:53 PM

No, it isn’t. Which is why you can’t see the difference between alcohol and marijuana.

shuzilla on April 19, 2010 at 5:49 PM

The big difference I see is you fetishizing alcohol which is worse in every way than weed.

John9400 on April 19, 2010 at 5:53 PM

Oh cut this crap would you! Every year thousands of innocent people are thrown to jail with your blessing just because they chose to relax in a way you dissaprove

No, it’s because they broke the law and they enabled crime to flourish by doing so. They are the opposite of innocent, which requires taking that drag needed to fog up that unassailable truth. They didn’t care about the damage wrought by the illicit drug trade then, why should anyone believe they really care about any positive response by criminals to legalization now?

shuzilla on April 19, 2010 at 5:55 PM

pot is for deviants.

shuzilla on April 19, 2010 at 5:26 PM

Like Jefferson. And Washington. And. . .

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 5:55 PM

Unfortunately smoking pot while drinking beer is an all too common pastime. Legalizing pot can only encourage this practice.
Pot by itself may be safer than beer but in combination they are worse than either by themselves. It is a weak and fundamentally dishonest argument that pot smokers are safe because they won’t drink.

mad scientist on April 19, 2010 at 5:56 PM

Lets just legalize crime! It would cost so much less! And we could tax it and make money!

No, we should not legalize marijuana. The one thing that is definitely NOT wrong with America is that we don’t have enough ways to get high or enough people getting high.

American Elephant on April 19, 2010 at 5:56 PM

Hey, shuzilla – someone, somewhere is having a good time! AND THAT MUST BE STOPPED!

That about sums up your position in a nutshell, correct?

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 5:57 PM

Pot by itself may be safer than beer but in combination they are worse than either by themselves. It is a weak and fundamentally dishonest argument that pot smokers are safe because they won’t drink.

mad scientist on April 19, 2010 at 5:56 PM

Nice strawman ya got there. Watch out for that witch with the burning broom, things could get nasty for ya.

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 6:00 PM

And lets not forget that SEVERAL studies have proven that pot use increases the risk of psychosis, with regular use increasing the risk up to 500%.

Look at the whacked-out left for example. Look at all the people like Bill Maher and Sean Penn, and everyone you can think of who cant even say George Bush’s name without spitting and popping blood vessels. All the most rabid, psychotic libs you can think of — every single one of them is a pot user, aren’t they? That’s what pot does to people. And its no laughing matter. America cant afford MORE of those people.

American Elephant on April 19, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Look at the whacked-out left for example. Look at all the people like Bill Maher and Sean Penn, and everyone you can think of who cant even say George Bush’s name without spitting and popping blood vessels. All the most rabid, psychotic libs you can think of — every single one of them is a pot user, aren’t they? That’s what pot does to people. And its no laughing matter. America cant afford MORE of those people.

American Elephant on April 19, 2010 at 6:01 PM

I bet you all those crazy liberals enjoy gourmet coffee, too. We can’t have that. Time to shut down all those uppity overpriced cafes!!!!

John9400 on April 19, 2010 at 6:06 PM

shuzilla on April 19, 2010 at 5:55 PM

Really? Now the fact is that you enable crime and all it’s consequences no less at the very least by keeping pot illegal and thus preserving black market. Difference between us is that no matter how disgusted I am with your crime-enabling agenda I don’t wish you were thrown to jail.

As for them breaking the law, I’ll tell you what: if tommorrow you and your thugs decide that potato chips are “unaccepted” and make them illegal, I’ll still eat them and will still consider potato eaters innocent despite the fascist law. Noone is bound to respect or obey tyranny.

Alexey on April 19, 2010 at 6:07 PM

Au contraire. mon shoegizzard. Concern for others is a huge point of my rationale for legalization. The innocents caught in the crossfire of an out of control prohibition effort, for starters. We’re talking actual dead folks. Not ‘druggies’ – but cops, and people who simply happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time – and were literally blown away. By mistake. Whoops.

So what do you think criminal gangs and syndicates will move into next, once marijuana doesn’t pay the bills? Do you think they’ll simply give up crime and go back to school? I have suggested that it will be kidnapping and extortion, which is commonplace all around the world but not so much here. Americans are somewhat blessed that even though we have high crime rates in places, we know where, in what part of town and even on what block we’re likely to be victimized. We can avoid drug-related incidences almost completely by neither dealing in nor shopping for illicit drugs.

Your vision for the future is, unwittingly, for these gangs and thugs to be waiting at the end of YOUR street instead, ready to abduct your family for the big payoff. Or maybe they just kick your front door in, rob you and shoot you all as well as the cops outside. They’ll use cell phones and internet to track victims, avoid cops and hit targets within minutes of sending out orders to do so. And don’t forget the graffitti painted on your house that tells the other gangs exactly who’s territory you belong to.

I just can’t believe that anyone is naive enough to think that ending one criminal enterprise won’t simply usher in the next one UNLESS THE CRIMINALS ARE LOCKED UP, DEPORTED OR EXECUTED.

We have a criminal class. We always will, even with the legalization of pot or any other substance. Regardless of potheads wishing otherwise.

shuzilla on April 19, 2010 at 6:09 PM

American Elephant on April 19, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Did you get all that from “101 excuses for crashing your freedom”? I hear the book is popular in Saudi Arabia, nice to know you catching up.

Alexey on April 19, 2010 at 6:11 PM

I have to say if this is the best that opponents can come up with, I’m starting to get a good feeling about California’s legalization proposition.

John9400 on April 19, 2010 at 6:12 PM

Threads like this one tend to demonstrate that the intellectual founders of modern conservatism (i.e., Buckley, Goldwater, etc.) have been unceremoniously tossed out – along with the Constitution – by a significant percentage of today’s (alleged) “conservatives”.

Fatwa Arbuckle on April 19, 2010 at 6:14 PM

I don’t see any mention of workplace drug testing. Employees cannot be impaired in the workplace, especially when the job has potential for injury to themselves and/or others. Unfortunately alcohol has an advantage over pot in this regard since it doesn’t stay in the body for very long.
Some of the clinics that specialize in workplace injuries routinely drug test on admission; currently a positive test for marijuana is usually grounds for dismissal. The ability of marijuana to give a positive test result days or weeks after the last use the question becomes: is that positive test for marijuana from last weekend or was the employee stoned when they had the accident? I can’t see any employer taking the risk of allowing positive results under these circumstances; the liability could be enormous.
Bottom line: even if pot is legalized employers are still going to employ or dismiss based on test results.

mad scientist on April 19, 2010 at 6:16 PM

Hey, shuzilla – someone, somewhere is having a good time! AND THAT MUST BE STOPPED!

That about sums up your position in a nutshell, correct?

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 5:57 PM

In fact, I expected just such a stupid remark, which just goes to demonstrate my point (in a nutshell) of how little you care about having your fun at the expense of others having to endure the crime you know you contribute to, no matter how much users claim to care about crime. Since I don’t need to break laws to enjoy myself, I don’t need to be impaired while doing so to keep from coming to terms with my role in the deaths of thousands of people each month in Mexico (for starters).

shuzilla on April 19, 2010 at 6:18 PM

shuzilla on April 19, 2010 at 6:09 PM

Note to self – no candygrams to this nut job’s house – he’s likely to let loose with both barrels of a 10 guage, followed up by a hail of 9mm to stop the ‘criminals and thugs’ that have no doubt been scheming and targetting him specifically to cash in on the buck 99 re-ward for kidnapping him. Not to mention all of the *ahem* things they plan to do with him for their amusement until it arrives.

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 6:18 PM

I support decriminalization of Pot but not Legalization.

It’s a fantasy to think that the US Gov can collect any taxes on something anyone can grow in their back yard.

William Amos on April 19, 2010 at 6:19 PM

If Congress has the power to ban the personal growing and consuming of something, what power do they not have?

exception on April 19, 2010 at 6:24 PM

Basically, your argument is that we need to keep it away from the kids. Fine, I agree with you there. You seem to miss the point that the method we’ve been using to accomplish that goal for the past 72 years has been a failure – of spectacular dimension.

And basically your argument is people are going to do it anyway so make it legal. So make murder legal and rape legal, and on and on, people still do those things even when they’re illegal. It sounds a lot like the Ron Paul view of world politics, if big bad America would leave the rest of the world alone everyone would love us. Just switch it slightly to if we legalize pot everything will be great, no crime, no addiction, everybody dancing around merrily with kitties and rainbows. And hey, if we have government run health care everyone will live forever, no wonder so many libertarians voted for Obama, you’re obviously extremely gullible.

clearbluesky on April 19, 2010 at 6:24 PM

shuzilla on April 19, 2010 at 6:18 PM

of how little you care about having your fun at the expense of others having to endure the crime you know you contribute to

What makes you think he is contributing to any crime? If he smokes pot then many pot smokers grow their own from seeds purchased online from seedbanks. They are not putting money in drug dealers pocket, thus enabling all those horrors you care so much about. YOU on the other hand by keeping pot illegal surely DO enable the crime, DO keep the black market on float and thus DO make sure drug dealers got their pot money. How do you live with yourself?

Alexey on April 19, 2010 at 6:26 PM

Did you get all that from “101 excuses for crashing your freedom”?

Wow, what an awesome argument? Seriously, are you 12? Lemme guess, you’re a pothead — same thing. Every law that we have curtails your freedom. The ones worth keeping are the ones that do so for good reason. From psychoses, to crime there are all sorts of great reasons to keep pot illegal. And fortunately most Americans agree. And the fact that the best arguments the stoners can come up with are 1. trying to pretend they only want to legalize pot for sick people, which has always been a lie, and 2. because its a limitation on their freedom — shows how weak the rationale for legalizing pot is.

GROW UP and learn to deal with life without getting high!

American Elephant on April 19, 2010 at 6:27 PM

I don’t need to be impaired while doing so to keep from coming to terms with my role in the deaths of thousands of people each month in Mexico (for starters).

Nope…you don’t have to be impaired; all you have to do is keep supporting the status quo.

Fatwa Arbuckle on April 19, 2010 at 6:28 PM

lest a single teardrop fall at such a horrendous thought.

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 5:01 PM

ummmm, okay, I read your post…you don’t know where I live do you? You may want to find some help with those voices in your head.

right2bright on April 19, 2010 at 6:29 PM

clearbluesky on April 19, 2010 at 6:24 PM

Not exactly. My argument is ditch something that obviously isn’t working, and try something that actually has a chance, and proven track record, to work. My argument is that the cure is worse than the problem. My argument is for something that preserves individual liberty AND accomplishes the goals and objectives of the policy.

And no, I did not vote for Elmer Gantry, tyvfm. Rather disgusted by the little Alinskyite, if you’re curious – which you don’t really appear to be.

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 6:30 PM

GROW UP and learn to deal with life without getting high!

American Elephant on April 19, 2010 at 6:27 PM

Nice summary…

right2bright on April 19, 2010 at 6:30 PM

Could you potheads who brag about a glorious new marijuana tax please stop calling yourselves libertarians/conservatives? You sound…well…high. You’re not for smaller government; you’re just addicts.

Ronnie on April 19, 2010 at 6:30 PM

I bet you all those crazy liberals enjoy gourmet coffee, too. We can’t have that.

This thread is just proving that pot makes you stupid.

Coffee doesn’t lead to psychoses. In fact, the food police keep studying coffee to try and find something wrong with it, but they cant find anything bad about it, and in fact they keep finding out that its good for you.

Not so with pot.

But potheads, like liberals, dont care about facts, they just care about getting high.

American Elephant on April 19, 2010 at 6:31 PM

Note to self – no candygrams to this nut job’s house – he’s likely to let loose with both barrels of a 10 guage, followed up by a hail of 9mm to stop the ‘criminals and thugs’ that have no doubt been scheming and targetting him specifically to cash in on the buck 99 re-ward for kidnapping him. Not to mention all of the *ahem* things they plan to do with him for their amusement until it arrives.

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 6:18 PM

I hear paranoia eventually sets in… when you abuse that stuff.

If you want to get into a conversation about legalizing marijuana, which seems to be why you’re hanging out here, it might be more productive to tell me what enterprise you think criminals will move into when pot is legalized, instead of making a “note to self” rambling about personal firearm protection that I never once mentioned.

Or, just light up a fat one and proceed not to give a sh!t. It’s all good, is it not?

shuzilla on April 19, 2010 at 6:32 PM

right2bright on April 19, 2010 at 6:29 PM

What, not a fan of melodrama? Bummer, dude.

American Elephant on April 19, 2010 at 6:27 PM

Burp and get over the desire to run other people’s lives!

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 6:32 PM

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 6:00 PM

Another weak argument. See previous posts for auto accidents stoned vs. drunk and stoned.

mad scientist on April 19, 2010 at 6:37 PM

Since anyone who enjoys an occasional bong hit is a “pothead”, I suppose that makes anyone who enjoys an occasional beer or merlot an “alcoholic”.

Fatwa Arbuckle on April 19, 2010 at 6:37 PM

it might be more productive to tell me what enterprise you think criminals will move into when pot is legalized

Depends on what type of ‘criminals’ you’re talking about – in your vision of reality, the vast majority of ‘pot criminals’ will go about doing things that seem remarkably like normal people living normal lives, I suppose – for those involved in ongoing organized criminal enterprises, while I have no crystal ball, the repeal of alcohol prohibition is probably a good indicator. They’ll continue with whatever other profitable criminal activities they were concurrently doing – such as gambling, or prostitution. And those that have a hand in illicit drugs other than cannabis, I imagine they’ll continue with that as well. The activities of the mob and the mafia and whoever you’d care to look at following prohibition indicated a massive reduction in overall activity when the bottom fell out of the financial engine driving it. With the continuation of illicit narcotics, yes, there will still be activity, but there will be a lot less “noise”, and the interdiction efforts will likely be more effective.

However, your fantasies of a post apocalyptic style Mad Max world of kidnap gangs – wow, that is waaaaay over the edge of sanity.

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 6:39 PM

Fatwa Arbuckle on April 19, 2010 at 6:37 PM

If your politics revolves around beer, yeah, you’re probably a drunk.

Ronnie on April 19, 2010 at 6:40 PM

Okay, legalize pot. But what is next? Should people really be free to eat drink and smoke whatever they want when that liberty begins to (pot)entially negatively affect my pursuit of happiness? How about LSD? Mushrooms? Meth? Cocaine? Eat drink smoke whatever you want? Angel Dust, anyone? Huff some glue while you are at it?

Does the Libertarian stance mean everything is just all right (with me)?

Yeah. I am confused.

Alcohol can be horribly destructive, of course. Ask Nancy Pelousi. I drink myself but not on the taxpayer`s dime.

I am confused and need some `splaining here.

Sherman1864 on April 19, 2010 at 6:40 PM

My argument is for something that preserves individual liberty AND accomplishes the goals and objectives of the policy.

In all seriousness, stop with the grandiose crap about preserving liberty. You want to get stoned without being hassled, that’s it, you’re not some martyr for freedom regardless of what your bong buddies tell you. You don’t like that there are cartels selling weed and killing people? Then stop buying their product. You don’t like that people are in jail for smoking weed? Then advise them that they should stop smoking weed. You’re like a bunch of babies constantly crying for your bottle, if weed is really this important to you then you have a problem whether you want to admit it or not.

clearbluesky on April 19, 2010 at 6:41 PM

mad scientist on April 19, 2010 at 6:37 PM

Which links specifically? Mine, or right2bright’s?

Oh, hey, didja know that 30% of all traffic fatalities have detectable quantities of nicotine in their bodies?

Obviously, smoking cigarettes causes traffic mayhem, and should thus be banned!

Well, according to your argument, at any rate. Oh, and those cites – let’s keep it on track with ones demonstrating causality, versus co-incidence. Thanks.

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 6:43 PM

I support legalization, but not for the rationale that the fuzz can get more tax revenue out of it. Keep the Feds out of our bodies.

The Dean on April 19, 2010 at 6:43 PM

Ronnie on April 19, 2010 at 6:40 PM

I’m not sure I understand your above-referenced comment.

Fatwa Arbuckle on April 19, 2010 at 6:45 PM

clearbluesky on April 19, 2010 at 6:41 PM

Why do you hate dogs?

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 6:46 PM

clearbluesky on April 19, 2010 at 6:41 PM

Ok, lets stop with this “preserving liberty” nonsense. You just want to call minorities derogatory names, thats the only reason you need this “freedom of speech” nonsense. You don’t like these limitations on your speech? Then stop saying things that are on the government list of banned speech. You don’t like people in jail for violating this list? Then advise them they should have followed the rules. You’re like a bunch of babies constantly crying for your bottle, if “free” speech is really this important to you then you have a problem whether you want to admit it or not.

thphilli on April 19, 2010 at 6:46 PM

American Elephant on April 19, 2010 at 6:27 PM

It wasn’t even an argument. It was an observation that wherever thugs such as yourself want to crush peoples freedom to enjoy their life without hurting anyone they basically espouse the same crap mainly 1) It’s bad for you 2)You really hurting people (it’s like murder, rape etc). Whether it’s the Saudis blathering about drugs, alcohol, women with incovered faces or homosexuals or you blather about horrors of smoking a joint.

And yeah genius I know that every law curtails freedom. However if one claims to be a freedom loving person the idea is that only those freedoms should be taken away that constitute harm to others like murder, rape, forgery etc. Despite how you feel about smoking pot, eating hamburgers, drinkinf alcohol etc you do not throw people to jail for it. That is of course assuming you actually value freedom and not just another fascist thug bent on making people behave you deem “moral”. Since you clearly belong to latter category all you can do is came up with old tired BS designed to show how me smoking a joint is destroying a world.

Basically you’re just leftist under different flag.

Alexey on April 19, 2010 at 6:46 PM

Since anyone who enjoys an occasional bong hit is a “pothead”, I suppose that makes anyone who enjoys an occasional beer or merlot an “alcoholic”.

Fatwa Arbuckle on April 19, 2010 at 6:37 PM

Folks who reason as badly as you are potheads. You still refuse to discriminate between legal and illegal activity, chosing only to make a poor attempt at moral equivalence.

A person chosing to drink responsibly and harms no none while doing so has harmed nobody. However, a person who buys pot off the street is as culpable as everyone in his supply chain for all the offenses against humanity that the illicit drug trade brings, regardless of whether he personally harms someone while intoxicated. I know that’s heavy, but there it is. Deal with it… by lighting up a fat one, of course.

shuzilla on April 19, 2010 at 6:48 PM

I hear paranoia eventually sets in… when you abuse that stuff.

Are you paranoid if they’re really out to get you ??

Jerome Horwitz on April 19, 2010 at 6:49 PM

2)You really hurting people (it’s like murder, rape etc).

Alexey on April 19, 2010 at 6:46 PM

And except for limited areas, Congress does not have constitutional authority to outlaw those.

exception on April 19, 2010 at 6:49 PM

A person chosing to drink responsibly and harms no none while doing so has harmed nobody. However, a person who buys pot off the street is as culpable as everyone in his supply chain for all the offenses against humanity that the illicit drug trade brings, regardless of whether he personally harms someone while intoxicated.

shuzilla on April 19, 2010 at 6:48 PM

That is a sound argument for not buying from illegal trade. However, it is not an arguement for federal authority to ban something.

exception on April 19, 2010 at 6:53 PM

Just another element of our society’s slippery slope….

jbh45 on April 19, 2010 at 6:53 PM

What better reason to legalize pot than every President of the UNITED STATES for the last 18 years said they smoked pot.

jpcpt03 on April 19, 2010 at 2:08 PM

Every president for the last 18 years? All 3 of them?

Kind of a small sample, don’t you think?

tom on April 19, 2010 at 6:54 PM

pot is for deviants.

shuzilla on April 19, 2010 at 5:26 PM

Like Jefferson. And Washington. And. . .

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 5:55 PM

Did Jefferson and Washington smoke pot?

aengus on April 19, 2010 at 6:54 PM

I’m not sure I understand your above-referenced comment.

Fatwa Arbuckle on April 19, 2010 at 6:45 PM

If, in lieu of serious issues like obamacare, terrorism, etc., your passion is beer rights and higher taxes, you’re probably a drunk — just like the potheads in this thread who pretend they’re fighting for liberty by taxing things.

Ronnie on April 19, 2010 at 6:55 PM

Folks who reason as badly as you are potheads

I was merely carrying much of the rhetoric in this thread to its logical conclusion. Consider this a /sarc tag to my comment in question

And kindly tell me what else you think you know of my personal life based upon a handful of comments.

Fatwa Arbuckle on April 19, 2010 at 6:56 PM

shuzilla on April 19, 2010 at 6:48 PM

You’re one shameless cookie do you? It is YOU who is responsible for the “offences against humanity” by keeping black market afloat and thus putting drug money into the hands of drug dealers. Many potheads grow their own and do not responsible for any of this.

Alexey on April 19, 2010 at 6:56 PM

Ok, lets stop with this “preserving liberty” nonsense.

Um, no, let’s not. What we should stop though, is pretending that your desire to get stoned is equivalent to the Washington fighting the British.

clearbluesky on April 19, 2010 at 6:56 PM

Depends on what type of ‘criminals’ you’re talking about…
Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 6:39 PM

The type that break laws for personal gain. Were I speaking of criminals who break laws for no reason whatever, I’d be talking about sociopaths.

However, your fantasies of a post apocalyptic style Mad Max world of kidnap gangs – wow, that is waaaaay over the edge of sanity.

It’s not just a river in Mexico… er, Egypt.

shuzilla on April 19, 2010 at 6:57 PM

We own our bodies and should be free to eat, drink, and smoke what we want. And to take responsibility for our actions, whether we’re straight or we’re stoned.

I don’t think the federal government needs more revenue, and I’m a little surprised to hear a libertarian offer that as a feature rather than a bug.

What I’m surprised about is how pseudo-libertarians like Gillespie completely forget Tenth Amendment when they get in the middle of their beloved purple haze.

Knott Buyinit on April 19, 2010 at 7:00 PM

Ronnie on April 19, 2010 at 6:55 PM

So I take it you are outraged by the righty pundits expressing outrage over lefty food fascism while there’s terrorism going on? You see there are people capable of being passionate about several issues at a time.

Alexey on April 19, 2010 at 7:00 PM

A person chosing to drink responsibly and harms no none while doing so has harmed nobody. However, a person who buys pot off the street is as culpable as everyone in his supply chain for all the offenses against humanity that the illicit drug trade brings, regardless of whether he personally harms someone while intoxicated. I know that’s heavy, but there it is. Deal with it… by lighting up a fat one, of course.

shuzilla on April 19, 2010 at 6:48 PM

News flash to shoe guy – there is more than one way to skin a cat, my friend. So, and I’ll let you off the hook in that you don’t have to explain any ‘strange attractant’ quantum mathematics or anything, please explain how someone who grows a plant in their backyard, closet, or attic, then lights the plant they grew on fire, and imbibe the combustion product, in any way, shape or form suddenly causes Mexicans to suddenly drop dead hundreds, if not thousands of miles away?

Don’t get me wrong – the thought of the cash flow of the illicit trade is worrisome, to be sure – along with the criminal mayhem that goes along with it. But, as mentioned, there is more than one way to skin a cat. And your insistence upon a draconian undeclared civil war, that has gone on for 72 years now, and racked up stacks of AMERICAN bodies, and destroyed thousands of lives – I’d say THAT requires a bit more justification and explaination. And something OTHER than delusional visions of kidnap squads gone wild cause the are bored since they can’t make money selling pot.

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 7:01 PM

shuzilla on April 19, 2010 at 6:57 PM

You gotta be kidding me. . .legalize pot, and look out, Dubuque Iowa – here come the unemployed Mexican kidnap gangs.

Wind Rider on April 19, 2010 at 7:03 PM

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