CBS poll shows even split for marijuana legalization

posted at 11:21 am on November 30, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Has America become more libertarian on marijuana?  A new poll from CBS shows that respondents split evenly on the question of legalization at 47% either way.  It’s the second year in a row that a majority for prohibition has failed to materialize, and the first time that it failed to get even a plurality:

For the first time since CBS News began asking the question, as many Americans now think marijuana use should be legal as think it should not.

Support for legalizing marijuana inched up slightly from 45 percent in September to 47 percent today, according to a CBS News poll, conducted Nov. 16-19. Another 47 percent think it should remain prohibited. A year ago, a slight majority of Americans, 51 percent, opposed legalizing marijuana use.

This shift in public opinion was seen at the ballot box this month, when Colorado and Washington became the first states in the nation to approve of recreational marijuana use among adults over the age of 21. Marijuana use of any kind, however, is still illegal under federal law. It’s unclear at this point how the Obama administration intends to respond.

The poll shows a significant partisan split on the issue.  Majorities of Democrats and independents favor legalization, but at 51% and 55% respectively, those majorities are not as significant as one might think.  However, two-thirds of Republicans still believe it should be prohibited.

The age demos are more telling on this point. Majorities of age demos below 45 believe in legalization — although again, perhaps not as significantly as one would guess.  The 18-29YO demo favors legalization by only 13 points, 54/41, while 30-44YOs favor it by almost the same amount, 53/42.  The middle-aged demo, of which I’m a member, is almost evenly split at 46/48, but seniors deeply oppose legalization at 30/61.

The numbers are much different for doctor-prescribed marijuana, though:

Eighty-three percent of Americans favor allowing doctors to prescribe small amounts of marijuana for patients suffering from serious illnesses, the poll shows – up from 77 percent a year ago and 62 percent back in 1997. A majority of Americans of all ages – as well as most Republicans, Democrats, and independents – favor allowing this.

The CBS poll doesn’t include age demos on this question; it would be interesting to see how that splits out.  Also interesting is the impression people have about doctor-prescribed marijuana.  Only 29% think doctors mainly prescribe it for “serious medical illness,” while 53% believe doctors prescribe it for “other reasons.”  If so, I wonder why so many back prescription pot but not full legalization.  Perhaps they see it as a stimulus plan for primary-care physicians; they’ll need one under ObamaCare, to be sure.

Earlier this week, I featured Steven Crowder’s look at marijuana in our Green Room, and it got over 120 comments the last time I looked, and it’s worth another look on this post.  Steven argues that there is a valid argument for getting the federal government out of marijuana prohibition, but rebuts the argument that pot is harmless or less harmful than alcohol – as well as provides an entertaining bit of vox populi from Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Update: Scott Rasmussen wrote about legalization two weeks ago, noting that support for it increases when people understand that access will come with significant regulatory oversight:

When we ask Americans simply whether they favor legalization of marijuana, 45 percent say yes and 45 percent say no.

But when we ask about legalizing and regulating marijuana in a similar manner to the way alcohol and cigarettes are regulated, support for legalization increases to 56 percent. Only 36 percent remain opposed.

Most support regulations that would make it illegal for those under 18 to purchase pot, insure that those who drive under the influence would receive strict penalties and favor a ban on smoking marijuana in public places.

Fifty-eight percent support a requirement that marijuana could be purchased only in pharmacies. A plurality thinks that would cut the income of those who continue to sell drugs illegally.

Perhaps the impulse here isn’t entirely libertarian.


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Everything that can be said about the dangers of a high populace pales in comparison to the dangers of the currently drunk populace. I know that when drunk I drive like a 16 year old kid. When high on pot I drive like a paranoid grandma. Which would you rather have on the road? Its going to happen regardless. This is America, people take risks.

dip it in cider on November 30, 2012 at 1:22 PM

There is more than one kind of danger to the public to consider..how about the danger to society by the “stupid” that seems to go along with pot smokers..the gullibility and ease that pot smokers seem to have for falling for scams and rallying around them? Eco-wackadoodles, global warming nutsacks..anti corporation, anti capitalism, anti vaccination,,anti making your own choices as far a food, energy, speech, traditional moral values etc.
That type of thing is a danger to society too…along with the other stuff.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 1:38 PM

I’ve got to wonder just how enjoyable pot will be for users when it costs $100/carton and is filtered.

Happy Nomad on November 30, 2012 at 1:31 PM

They won’t buy it. Why should they when they can buy more potent and tax free pot from the black market.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 1:39 PM

I’ve seen both, and can say that almost universally, those that went the drug or drug/alchohol path have fared far worse than the ones that only drank alchohol or did neither.

I had friends that only drank (group a). I had friends that didn’t drink (group b). I had friends that drank and smoked pot, some of which moved on to harder drugs (group c).

Only one of those groups has a history of breaking into homes – of their friends, no less – to steal things in order to obtain more of their habit. Only one of those groups has a history of jail time associated not with the use of the stuff, but with the actions they undertook while influenced (no, not DUI) or in order to keep themselves with the ability to acquire more of the stuff.

Hint – it’s neither group a nor b.

This is anecdotal, and your mileage may vary, and yet… if one scenario is consistently pervasive, might there not be some truth to it, even if you personally don’t want it to be true?

I can give you an “anecdotal” story of an alcoholic father who would beat my mother and even his children on occasion. Or of an uncle who just died as a result of liver failure and the inability to quit drinking. Did you know you can die as a result to alcohol withdrawals? Funny, it isn’t near as hard to give up weed. I did it for years at a time. I’m sure many other people could give stories of drunk drivers who killed or impaired loved ones.

Point being, anyone who supports the legalization of booze and the criminalization of marijuana is not being consistent. We have ample evidence of how alcohol destroys lives. Either you let the nanny state arbitrarily protect us from ourselves, or you allow us to actually exercise the “freedom” we supposedly possess.

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Another secondary consideration is that hemp really is a fantastic fiber with amazing properties, (so I’ve read), and apparently the original Levi jeans were made with hemp and they were a lot more durable. I would love to try out some hemp jeans and see what they’re like.

FloatingRock on November 30, 2012 at 1:41 PM

It will be interesting to see what brand names RJ Reynolds, Lorillard and Phillip Morris come up with for their new MJ cigarettes.

I mean, Rolled Gold is already taken. As is Rold Gold (only pretzels, but still it’s trademarked).

HTL on November 30, 2012 at 1:42 PM

The same ignorance and disdain for the US Constitution that allows people to argue for national cannabis prohibition in the absence of proper constitutional authority, is the same ignorance and disdain that allows extra-constitutional programs like entitlements to break us.

JohnGalt23 on November 30, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Not really. Apples to oranges.

Of any substance or behavior what do you think has a right to be banned?

The confusion in the idea of pure constitution vs laws, is that, provided by the constitution, people in a society have the right to shape their society with laws and prohibited behavior.
This constitutional right is exercised by the people.
People should make theses decisions carefully after a balanced examination of the facts and potential unintended consequences. This requires the absence of biased advocates.
Don’t you agree?

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Point being, anyone who supports the legalization of booze and the criminalization of marijuana is not being consistent.
mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 1:41 PM

By what measure? The effects of the extreme?

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 1:49 PM

I don’t think the term “nanny state” means what you think it means.

From Wikipedia – “a government perceived as authoritarian, interfering, or overprotective”

I would have to that’s spot on.

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 1:52 PM

I have no problem with legalizing pot – and agree it should be a state issue, not a federal one.

However, to suggest pot is harmless is kind of silly. There are long term memory issues for long term usage – at what consumption level I don’t believe is readily known.

Smoke from pot has much of the same issues that cigarettes have, so COPD issues will increase somewhat.

There are no real legitimate studies suggesting treatn pain with marijuana does that much of anything. Placebo effect mostly. It is mostly an urban myth.

Your ability to drive impaired or to work dangerously while high is still there – to suggest it is somehow better to be high frmo pot is better than drunk from alcohol is wrong. Ask your police about drivers. They both cause accidents. You will probably see a slight increase in OWI, DUI incidents.

Here is the last kicker – I am unaware of a test that will currently test you for a level of influence under the use of pot, unlike alcohol which gives me an indicator if you are under the influence or not. Pot stays in the system for weeks. If I don’t have a system for testing you that can determine the difference then I am going to be firing alot of weekend partiers. Drunks sober up before they come to work – and if I suspect they are still drunk – I can test them and see if they are drunk and then fire them. CAn I do that with Pot?

Zomcon JEM on November 30, 2012 at 1:52 PM

From Wikipedia – “a government perceived as authoritarian, interfering, or overprotective”

I would have to that’s spot on.

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 1:52 PM

You’re assuming that that is the definition that is used by the people you referred to.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Zomcon JEM on November 30, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Exactly.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 1:57 PM

You’re assuming that that is the definition that is used by the people you referred to.

Have any others?

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Conservative: “I can’t believe they want to take our guns from us!”

Same Conservative: “I can’t believe they want take that plant from them!”

Oh the irony! And I say this as a conservative myself. A less conflicted one I might add.

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Prohibition is responsible, in the case of cannabis for 90% of the market price. (In drugs like heroin and cocaine, it approaches 99% of the price.) It costs nearly nothing to produce these drugs. The only thing that props up the unusual profits that attract organized crime is prohibition. Legalize it tomorrow, and people planting cannabis will see the same economic returns as those who engage in any other legal industry.

And the cartels simply can’t compete…

JohnGalt23 on November 30, 2012 at 12:19 PM

This is a fallacy.
If what you claim is true, how do you account for the prices of legal “medical” pot? It doesn’t have to be smuggled..hidden in it’s growing areas..transported to various distribution points, etc. Yet it still costs a few hundred dollars an ounce.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Same Conservative: “I can’t believe they want take that plant from them!”

Oh the irony! And I say this as a conservative myself. A less conflicted one I might add.

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 2:01 PM

It would be more accurate to say “They want to take that drug from me”.
The analogy is weak.
A persons gun is a right specifically granted by the Constitution.
The laws governing the society’s choice to prohibit the possession of certain things is also in the constitution.

In your opinion, should any chemicals be regulated? If so, under what Constitutional authority?

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Quite so. The market can pay what it will bear.

CorporatePiggy on November 30, 2012 at 2:07 PM

By what measure? The effects of the extreme?

Give me your rationale on why alcohol should be legal, then tell me why the same argument can’t be made for marijuana.

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Have any others?

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Yes.
It seems that the most common use of the term is in the context of government providing cradle to grave support for most everything a human needs to sit on their ass in comfort. Like a “nanny” takes care of a child.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Give me your rationale on why alcohol should be legal, then tell me why the same argument can’t be made for marijuana.

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 2:08 PM

That wasn’t the question.
You’re attempting to change the subject.
The question was this:

By what measure? The effects of the extreme?

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Fun debate. I have to leave for a couple hours and will check back.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 2:12 PM

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Apples and oranges. The 2nd Amendment is a check against tyranny. Mind altering substances have nothing to do with liberty. A real conservative understands this is an issue for each state to decide for themselves whether they support prohibition or not. And considering that just about every state prohibits recreational marijuana use the federal government has an interest in regulating interstate transportation of it.

NotCoach on November 30, 2012 at 2:12 PM

This is a fallacy.
If what you claim is true, how do you account for the prices of legal “medical” pot? It doesn’t have to be smuggled..hidden in it’s growing areas..transported to various distribution points, etc. Yet it still costs a few hundred dollars an ounce.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 2:01 PM

The illegal market influences the legal market. The vast majority of pot is still purchased illegally, so legal sellers can keep their prices close to the illegal market’s prices.

NotCoach on November 30, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Let it be said that a state has the authority to determine what its drug laws should be – including the authority to keep them illegal. It is no more tryannical to eliminate than to approve it. The state has police powers and the ability to regulate far beyond what the feds now try to do.

Zomcon JEM on November 30, 2012 at 2:15 PM

By what measure? The effects of the extreme?

I’m not exactly sure what you are asking. My point was, how can one justify the one but not the other? This seems like a rather fair and obvious question to ask? Otherwise, it seems that making it a crime to possess marijuana is rather arbitrary.

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Apples and oranges. The 2nd Amendment is a check against tyranny. Mind altering substances have nothing to do with liberty. A real conservative understands this is an issue for each state to decide for themselves whether they support prohibition or not. And considering that just about every state prohibits recreational marijuana use the federal government has an interest in regulating interstate transportation of it.

Where’s the check against the FREEDOM to consume a plant? Is there a victim other than yourself involved in the activity? If alcohol is fine, what makes pot any different? I agree that it should be left to the states. I could live with that.

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 2:19 PM

If what you claim is true, how do you account for the prices of legal “medical” pot? It doesn’t have to be smuggled..hidden in it’s growing areas..transported to various distribution points, etc. Yet it still costs a few hundred dollars an ounce.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Anything associated with medicine costs about 10x what it should, due to excessive regulation. Marijuana is no exception. If it is no longer illegal and/or medically regulated, Big Tobacco will instantly put it into mass production, and apply the same economies of scale that they do to tobacco.

The laws of economics say that competition will reduce the price to the minimum acceptable to all producers. If RJR is willing to sell you a pack of joints for $10, why would you pay $200 for an ounce? And if RJR tries to charge you $200, then Lorillard will offer it for $190, and then Phillip Morris will drop the price to $180, etc. etc. until that equilibrium point is reached, which will be approximately the same as it is for cigarettes. The process will be even faster because they will be under pressure from individuals growing for their own consumption…the goal of Big Tobacco will be to make it so cheap and convenient that home producers won’t want to bother anymore.

Note that I am not making any arguments about whether it should be legalized or not. Just what will happen from an economic standpoint.

And I still want to know what brand names they will come up with for these new cigarettes.

HTL on November 30, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Where’s the check against the FREEDOM to consume a plant? Is there a victim other than yourself involved in the activity? If alcohol is fine, what makes pot any different? I agree that it should be left to the states. I could live with that.

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Pot prohibition is a political matter, period. Liberty issues are above the law since they are God given rights. Smoking pot has nothing to do with liberty. The states policing authority is absolute, and policing pot is legitimate. Anyone who wants to argue for legalizing pot as a liberty issue I tune out immediately.

Public intoxication is illegal just about everywhere. Why? Who’s being harmed? Is it unconstitutional to make it illegal? Hell no. States can police themselves as they see fit as long as our God given rights are not violated.

NotCoach on November 30, 2012 at 2:27 PM

“The laws governing the society’s choice to prohibit the possession of certain things is also in the constitution.”

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Where?

dom89031 on November 30, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Heavens yes, we should legalize marijuana. If it was legal, the government could tax and regulate it out of existence, just like it’s doing to small business owners now. Why bother wasting money on a war on drugs?

Mean Granny on November 30, 2012 at 2:49 PM

NotCoach on November 30, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Not to mention if an Insurance Company is paying for the cost of it; then you can be sure the price will be inflated beyond what is reasonable…just look at the cost of prescription drugs.

dom89031 on November 30, 2012 at 2:53 PM

thirteen28 on November 30, 2012 at 12:51 PM

I’d go along with you if:

The Department of Labor doesn’t prohibit me from choosing not to employee a pot head or alcoholic. They’ve already ruled that I can’t fire an alcoholic or prevent them from driving a company vehicle. They also ruled that I’m liable if kills someone while doing so.

2nd Ammendment Mother on November 30, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Pot prohibition is a political matter, period. Liberty issues are above the law since they are God given rights. Smoking pot has nothing to do with liberty. The states policing authority is absolute, and policing pot is legitimate. Anyone who wants to argue for legalizing pot as a liberty issue I tune out immediately.

Public intoxication is illegal just about everywhere. Why? Who’s being harmed? Is it unconstitutional to make it illegal? Hell no. States can police themselves as they see fit as long as our God given rights are not violated.

“God given rights”? If you really believe that, then did God not also make marijuana?

I guess we are only as “free” as what we will allow our government to take from us. I agree that this is most definitely a state issue. I also agree that it is a “political issue”. It’s criminilization can’t be explained any other way.

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Pot prohibition is a political matter, period. Liberty issues are above the law since they are God given rights. Smoking pot has nothing to do with liberty. The states policing authority is absolute, and policing pot is legitimate. Anyone who wants to argue for legalizing pot as a liberty issue I tune out immediately.

Public intoxication is illegal just about everywhere. Why? Who’s being harmed? Is it unconstitutional to make it illegal? Hell no. States can police themselves as they see fit as long as our God given rights are not violated.

NotCoach on November 30, 2012 at 2:27 PM

I agree. It makes it difficult for me to take libertarians seriously whenever they are constantly complaining about how limiting drug use is an infringment on their liberty. Maybe T.J. should have penned it as: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Pleasure. Whittaker Chambers killer review of Atlas Shrugged will always be the best description of their worldview.

NeverLiberal on November 30, 2012 at 3:11 PM

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Are you saying our liberties aren’t inherent? And God also made free will. Why not just repeal all laws and make it every man for himself as his will dictates?

NotCoach on November 30, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Big Sister is Watching You

NeverLiberal on November 30, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Indiana State Police Superintendent says he would legalize it:

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 3:25 PM

One of the reasons given by Ron Paul supporters and other pot heads is the idea that legalizing pot will decrease the prison population because of all those locked up for possessing pot. It is an absurd suggestion because users of pot are seldom even detained. Those in jail are drug dealers.

Are we really to believe that legalizing pot will make those in the distribution chain go legit? Or will they simply stock some other product?

Happy Nomad on November 30, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Not true at all. Most of man-days served each year are by growers. But beyond that, lots of people get locked up for a few days or weeks because of cannabis possession. While at any given time there may not be that many people incarcerated for possession, multiply it by the thousands of time it happens each year, the man-days start adding up. And man-days of incarceration costs the state money.

And if you legalize cannabis, most people involved are likely to not want to get involved in higher risk criminal enterprises. So yeah… most of them will go legit.

JohnGalt23 on November 30, 2012 at 3:34 PM

There can be no comparison to alcohol as far as taxing and controlling the production, tracking, purity of product, consistent levels of active ingredient etc, and pot.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Why? What abut alcohol makes it viable for regulation, but makes cannabis not viable for regulation?

JohnGalt23 on November 30, 2012 at 3:35 PM

JohnGalt23 is right on that. For some reason I thought you got a lot more joints out of a lid. But if you look at the regulation in the works the $50 an ounce tax is pretty standard. Which would work out to around $20-$25 tax per pack of 20 joints.

Rocks on November 30, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Well, some people roll thin joints.

Then those of us in California…

JohnGalt23 on November 30, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Maybe downtown they do. That”s probably because they are rich anyway so what do they care? The vast majority go to a lower tax area or buy from the black market. That’s why they have to keep raising the tax to try to raise revenue from it. If taxes were as high as the inner city in the rest of the state the black market would be huge.

Rocks on November 30, 2012 at 1:14 PM

I know a lot of cig smokers, many of whom also smoke cannabis. I don’t know one person who buys their tobacco on the black market.

JohnGalt23 on November 30, 2012 at 3:38 PM

This is a fallacy.
If what you claim is true, how do you account for the prices of legal “medical” pot? It doesn’t have to be smuggled..hidden in it’s growing areas..transported to various distribution points, etc. Yet it still costs a few hundred dollars an ounce.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 2:01 PM

“Medical pot” is still grown under conditions in the US that give the US Government the authority to prosecute and jail people for growing cannabis. That threat of prosecution represents a risk that the grower must be compensated for. even with the removal of state laws, that federal law still poses a mighty impressive barrier to entry into the market.

And what do we know happens to prices when barriers to entry into the marketplace are erected? Do they go up, down, or reamin the same?

JohnGalt23 on November 30, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Seems like an obvious opening for the GOP to remake their image with younger people, blue staters, and urban dwellers. The Dem’s will never support this as a Party because they aren’t interested in promoting freedom. The GOP could tap the Ron Paul energy, and open up new fronts in all kinds of areas with this one move. Why not? I dunno.

Progressive Heretic on November 30, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Are you saying our liberties aren’t inherent? And God also made free will. Why not just repeal all laws and make it every man for himself as his will dictates?

I’m saying laws are made by man. And rights are granted or restricted by those same men.

If you truly believed in “God given rights”, than I doubt those rights wouldn’t include the ability to consume a relatively benign plant created by him.

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 4:34 PM

I’m saying laws are made by man. And rights are granted or restricted by those same men.

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 4:34 PM

You are no conservative (classical liberal). Such a fundamental rejection of reason and our founding principles makes that painfully clear. The government can only take rights, not grant them.

NotCoach on November 30, 2012 at 4:52 PM

You are no conservative (classical liberal). Such a fundamental rejection of reason and our founding principles makes that painfully clear. The government can only take rights, not grant them.

I am a conservative. I’m also a black atheist. If rights are restricted and granted, explain slavery to me and the emancipation proclamation to me.

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 5:06 PM

I am a conservative. I’m also a black atheist. If rights are restricted and granted, explain slavery to me and the emancipation proclamation to me.

I meant to say if rights “aren’t” granted…

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 5:07 PM

I am a conservative. I’m also a black atheist. If rights are restricted and granted, explain slavery to me and the emancipation proclamation to me.

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 5:06 PM

Slavery was a taking of rights. The Emancipation Proclamation did not grant rights, but recognized rights. Please read the enumerated rights in the Constitution carefully. You’ll notice not a single one is granted, but worded as to indicate said rights will not be taken. Man can not grant liberty, but only take it. And the Founders understood this quite well.

NotCoach on November 30, 2012 at 5:11 PM

The illegal market influences the legal market. The vast majority of pot is still purchased illegally, so legal sellers can keep their prices close to the illegal market’s prices.

NotCoach on November 30, 2012 at 2:15 PM

What does one have to do with the other?
Basically you seem to be saying that the purveyor of “medicine”..you know..the ethical one’s screw over sick people because they can.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Where?

dom89031 on November 30, 2012 at 2:47 PM

States right to govern themselves as they see fit. To pass laws they deem appropriate.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 5:28 PM

By what measure? The effects of the extreme?

I’m not exactly sure what you are asking. My point was, how can one justify the one but not the other? This seems like a rather fair and obvious question to ask? Otherwise, it seems that making it a crime to possess marijuana is rather arbitrary.

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 2:16 PM

I was commenting on your observation of the extreme of intoxication and long lasting effects of drug/alcohol use in this part of your post:

I can give you an “anecdotal” story of an alcoholic father who would beat my mother and even his children on occasion. Or of an uncle who just died as a result of liver failure and the inability to quit drinking. Did you know you can die as a result to alcohol withdrawals?

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Give me your rationale on why alcohol should be legal, then tell me why the same argument can’t be made for marijuana.

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 2:08 PM

States right to determine such things.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 5:33 PM

What does one have to do with the other?
Basically you seem to be saying that the purveyor of “medicine”..you know..the ethical one’s screw over sick people because they can.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 5:26 PM

You call it screwing, I call it market forces. However you want to put it that is how a market works.

Let’s say I own a medicinal marijuana dispensary. Well, the reality is that my number one competitor is the dealer down the block working a street corner. If he’s charging $350 a dime bag I’m going to charge $300. Those who can legally buy from me are getting a deal compared to the dealer down the block. And since most people buy from the dealer market forces drive up prices at the legal sellers store without consequence because most buyers don’t have the ability to price shop.

If marijuana were generally legal prices would drop dramatically (assuming no exorbitant regulation or taxation costs) as those competing with each other are all legal sellers. The dealer will lose all of his business and probably stop dealing because he can’t compete price-wise with the legal sellers.

NotCoach on November 30, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Anything associated with medicine costs about 10x what it should, due to excessive regulation. Marijuana is no exception.
HTL on November 30, 2012 at 2:20 PM

But it is an exemption.
There was no FDA testing procedure..double blind tests or testing for counter-indications of reactions with certain people, other medications, etc.
It was, pretty much..”Pot?..kewl! let’s start selling it.”

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Indiana State Police Superintendent says he would legalize it:

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 3:25 PM

So what?
Appeal to Authority fallacy.

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal-to-authority.html

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 5:55 PM

And if you legalize cannabis, most people involved are likely to not want to get involved in higher risk criminal enterprises. So yeah… most of them will go legit.

JohnGalt23 on November 30, 2012 at 3:34 PM

What makes you think that?

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 5:57 PM

This is exactly why the GOP or rather, conservatives will never again win on the national stage.Culturally we have become a much more liberal country.The future is indeed bleak.Gay marriage,legalization of drugs,an increase in baby-killing and illegitimate births-Between a demographic disadvantage, so many takers and fewer payers,and a libertine philosophy rampant,we don’t stand a chancemand neither does America.

redware on November 30, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Why? What abut alcohol makes it viable for regulation, but makes cannabis not viable for regulation?

JohnGalt23 on November 30, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Every aspect of the production, manufacture..quality control..packaging, control of percentage of active ingredient, transportation, distribution etc. are present in alcohol production. The tax is paid at the time of production in bottling.
You can’t “fake” a bottle of Jack Daniels etc.
None of this is possible with pot.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 6:02 PM

The argument can be made either way based off sound reasoning. Again there are pros and cons to each course of action, being the legalization of Pot, or not. There are several fundamental questions that never really get answered in this debate though, and I think that once you look at those questions, then it becomes a bit clearer as to how the issue should be addressed. When did Pot become illegal? Why did it become so? Who benefited from it becoming illegal? How did they benefit?

There is another question that should be answered and I least of all would call the effects of Pot, benign considering my family history, but if the exercise of free will is a God granted right, which to my understanding it is, then who are we to take the apple away? The other question to that is, who put the apple there in the first place, God or his fallen angel? And why?

MarshFox on November 30, 2012 at 6:02 PM

“Medical pot” is still grown under conditions in the US that give the US Government the authority to prosecute and jail people for growing cannabis. That threat of prosecution represents a risk that the grower must be compensated for. even with the removal of state laws, that federal law still poses a mighty impressive barrier to entry into the market.

And what do we know happens to prices when barriers to entry into the marketplace are erected? Do they go up, down, or reamin the same?

JohnGalt23 on November 30, 2012 at 3:43 PM

You’re just making that up. It sounds plausible, but if it were true that potential monetary risk would have to have that high price per ounce money put into a fund for that purpose.
I’ll guess it is not and is simply pocketed.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 6:06 PM

If you truly believed in “God given rights”, than I doubt those rights wouldn’t include the ability to consume a relatively benign plant created by him.

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 4:34 PM

The rights provide for people to make laws as they see fit for their community, values and social order.
The laws and powers provide for the general welfare of the society. A necessity for consistency of application of the laws and values of the people.
There can be no “general welfare” of a community if everyone can pick and choose which law to follow and which to ignore.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 6:12 PM

You’re just making that up. It sounds plausible, but if it were true that potential monetary risk would have to have that high price per ounce money put into a fund for that purpose.
I’ll guess it is not and is simply pocketed.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Sorry, but that’s Economics 101 right there. Google “risk premium”.

And it is, to some extent, theoretical. What is not is the cash that growers keep buried for their “legal defense fund”.

JohnGalt23 on November 30, 2012 at 6:21 PM

One observation I have is that all this debate about weather or not it ought to be legalized is largely becoming moot, at least where I live. It is widely available to anyone who wants to buy it. There is no penalty for posession under an ounce. The police seem to no longer care about enforcment. The tide of public opinion is increasingly in favor of full legalization, and as the older generation dies off it will become even more so. We just passed a medical marijuana law in my state. There are stores which cater to indoor gardening all around and doing great business. You can easily buy the best seeds in the world over the internet with very little risk. So weather you are pro or con it matters very little as far as consumption, attitudes and the general directions the laws are going.

steel guy on November 30, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Every aspect of the production, manufacture..quality control..packaging, control of percentage of active ingredient, transportation, distribution etc. are present in alcohol production. The tax is paid at the time of production in bottling.
You can’t “fake” a bottle of Jack Daniels etc.
None of this is possible with pot.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Really? Every aspect of tobacco production… manufacturing, QC, packaging, ingredients, transportation, distribution, etc… is tightly monitored and controlled.

So what should be so different about legal cannabis?

JohnGalt23 on November 30, 2012 at 6:23 PM

If rights are restricted and granted, explain slavery to me and the emancipation proclamation to me.

mazer9 on November 30, 2012 at 5:06 PM

Men made it legal for awhile..and more men with the understanding of the origins of basichuman rights coming from the creator, prevailed.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 6:25 PM

And if you legalize cannabis, most people involved are likely to not want to get involved in higher risk criminal enterprises. So yeah… most of them will go legit.

JohnGalt23 on November 30, 2012 at 3:34 PM

What makes you think that?

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Well, knowledge of the industry, for one. Most people growing cannabis in CO and CA right now are not La Eme. They are people taking advantage of a relatively open black market. Many of whom have dropped other careers simply because of the profit potential.

JohnGalt23 on November 30, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Really? Every aspect of tobacco production… manufacturing, QC, packaging, ingredients, transportation, distribution, etc… is tightly monitored and controlled.

So what should be so different about legal cannabis?

JohnGalt23 on November 30, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Make me a package of Camels..unopened and showing a tax stamp and paperwork.
Thanks.

That said, you’re changing substances from those that have regulated amount of active ingredients to substances like tobacco or caffeine.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 6:30 PM

You call it screwing, I call it market forces. However you want to put it that is how a market works.

Let’s say I own a medicinal marijuana dispensary. Well, the reality is that my number one competitor is the dealer down the block working a street corner. If he’s charging $350 a dime bag I’m going to charge $300. Those who can legally buy from me are getting a deal compared to the dealer down the block. And since most people buy from the dealer market forces drive up prices at the legal sellers store without consequence because most buyers don’t have the ability to price shop.

If marijuana were generally legal prices would drop dramatically (assuming no exorbitant regulation or taxation costs) as those competing with each other are all legal sellers. The dealer will lose all of his business and probably stop dealing because he can’t compete price-wise with the legal sellers.

NotCoach on November 30, 2012 at 5:36 PM

What market forces..the “whatever the market will bear” one?

Thats not the point I was making. I was responding to the claim that without having to smuggle illegal pot, the money…and by simple reasoning..the potential for violence , would be eliminated.

This staement:

Let’s say I own a medicinal marijuana dispensary. Well, the reality is that my number one competitor is the dealer down the block working a street corner. If he’s charging $350 a dime bag I’m going to charge $300. Those who can legally buy from me are getting a deal compared to the dealer down the block. And since most people buy from the dealer market forces drive up

..pretty much admits the bogus nature of “medical” marijuana.
He’s charging what he can get..and you can only deal to “sick” people.
That said, it still doesn’t justify the price.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 6:35 PM

Well, knowledge of the industry, for one. Most people growing cannabis in CO and CA right now are not La Eme. They are people taking advantage of a relatively open black market. Many of whom have dropped other careers simply because of the profit potential.

JohnGalt23 on November 30, 2012 at 6:26 PM

So why would people who were of the mindset of taking advantage of people and open black markets, not take advantage of other profitable markets in the same field?

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Do you want your lab blood work done by a smoker? How about nurses that must keep schedules for medications? Smokers memories are about seconds long when they are smoked up and are very dangerous to work with when concentration and attention is necessary, like working high iron. What you do in your house is your business but when you work with me it’s my business and I will refuse to work with a druggie.

mixplix on November 30, 2012 at 6:40 PM

There are several fundamental questions that never really get answered in this debate though, and I think that once you look at those questions, then it becomes a bit clearer as to how the issue should be addressed. When did Pot become illegal? Why did it become so? Who benefited from it becoming illegal? How did they benefit?

There is another question that should be answered and I least of all would call the effects of Pot, benign considering my family history, but if the exercise of free will is a God granted right, which to my understanding it is, then who are we to take the apple away? The other question to that is, who put the apple there in the first place, God or his fallen angel? And why?

MarshFox on November 30, 2012 at 6:02 PM

What is the significance of those questions beyond the old “it was the cotton growers…it was the newspaper barons..” conspiracy theories?
None of that matters imo.

The God granted rights are to basic human rights..not every bit of individual yearning for …for…*something* or other.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 6:47 PM

From the late and great Bill Hicks…

You see, I think drugs have done some good things for us, I really do. And if you don’t think drugs have done some good things for us, do me a favor and take all your records and all your cd’s and burn ‘em, cuz you know what? All the musicians who made that great music that’s enhanced your lives throughout the years weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrreeeeeee real f*ckin high on drugs.

It’s not a war on drugs, it’s a war on personal freedom.

ahlaphus on November 30, 2012 at 6:48 PM

That said, it still doesn’t justify the price.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 6:35 PM

Why?

NotCoach on November 30, 2012 at 6:50 PM

pretty much admits the bogus nature of “medical” marijuana.
He’s charging what he can get..and you can only deal to “sick” people.
That said, it still doesn’t justify the price.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 6:35 PM

Medical marijuana certainly is bogus. I thought the reasoning of the law that just passed in my state was dishonest. But it is a way to get the foot in the door so to speak for full legalization, which is the ultimate goal of the laws sponsers. That said it is a business and businesses goal is to maximize profit. Even legit pharmicutical companies adhere to this same principal.

steel guy on November 30, 2012 at 6:52 PM

So weather you are pro or con it matters very little as far as consumption, attitudes and the general directions the laws are going.

steel guy on November 30, 2012 at 6:22 PM

That can very easily change when sales pitch meets reality.
I, for one, welcome the states dumb enough to serve as human petri dishes. Much like California showing us all what happens when the sales pitch of progressive liberal policies meet reality..or the UK showing us what happens when the sales pitch of “green energy” meets reality.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Why?

NotCoach on November 30, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Outside of the market force of the ends justify the means…or said differently..whatever the market will bear, how much do your guess it costs to produce a pound of pot?

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 6:56 PM

It’s so easy for me to make fun of people like Mimzey that now I can’t even bring myself to do it.

dip it in cider on November 30, 2012 at 6:58 PM

That can very easily change when sales pitch meets reality.
I, for one, welcome the states dumb enough to serve as human petri dishes. Much like California showing us all what happens when the sales pitch of progressive liberal policies meet reality..or the UK showing us what happens when the sales pitch of “green energy” meets reality.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 6:53 PM

In reality what will really change once legalization occurs? People will smoke it just like they do now except they will no longer be law breakers. I just don’t see how things get worse.

steel guy on November 30, 2012 at 6:59 PM

It’s not a war on drugs, it’s a war on personal freedom.

ahlaphus on November 30, 2012 at 6:48 PM

What limits on “personal freedom” do you agree with?

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Twisting and contorting intellectually to justify his statist tendencies. Standing there proudly, as the regulator, moral and legal. The Law Passer. The Moral Authority. The Conservative Person Who Will Throw You In Jail Because: Plants.

This is why the Republican party is doomed because of the circular firing squad. No longer a big tent party. It only took 2 election cycles for the Whigs to disentigrate and the Republican party to form. Let’s hope the R’s implode and a Federalist Party emerges.

dip it in cider on November 30, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Outside of the market force of the ends justify the means…or said differently..whatever the market will bear, how much do your guess it costs to produce a pound of pot?

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Who cares? I don’t care if a product has a 1 million percent markup. That has no relevancy to anything. That kind of thinking brings us price controls which leads to scarcity.

NotCoach on November 30, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Twisting and contorting intellectually to justify his statist tendencies. Standing there proudly, as the regulator, moral and legal. The Law Passer. The Moral Authority. The Conservative Person Who Will Throw You In Jail Because: Plants.

This is why the Republican party is doomed because of the circular firing squad. No longer a big tent party. It only took 2 election cycles for the Whigs to disentigrate and the Republican party to form. Let’s hope the R’s implode and a Federalist Party emerges.

dip it in cider on November 30, 2012 at 7:02 PM

SPOT ON BROTHER!! SPOT ON!!

Conservatives can’t seem to “dig” the fact that the “prohibitionist blade” is a double-edged sword. The same blade that YOU use to punish plant smokers and prostitutes with can also be used AGAINST YOU by your enemies to take your guns, your sodas, and your gas guzzling cars.

The only way you win this game is to not play it. Destroy the sword and let every man be his own soveriegn as the founders wished.

HondaV65 on November 30, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 6:47 PM

What is the significance of those questions beyond the old “it was the cotton growers…it was the newspaper barons..” conspiracy theories?
None of that matters imo.

Conspiracy Theories aside, which I don’t buy into, it matters because how were we functioning before hand with such consumption going on, and what impact was it having on society that would cause the laws to be enacted?

The second part of my question concerning God given rights, hasn’t anything to do about yearnings, it is about the moral person you chose to be, and you have to be careful with God Given rights, because an atheist blows that out of the water. So framing the argument using a religious context becomes tenuous, trust me I have conversed with a few in my day, and say what you will about them, some are some very shrewd cookies, when it comes to individual rights and freedoms.

MarshFox on November 30, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Do you want your lab blood work done by a smoker drinker? How about nurses that must keep schedules for medications? Smokers Drinker’s memories are about seconds long when they are smoked drunked up and are very dangerous to work with when concentration and attention is necessary, like working high iron. What you do in your house is your business but when you work with me it’s my business and I will refuse to work with a druggie lush.

mixplix on November 30, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Fixed … just to highlight the lunacy of your argument.

Just because Mary Jane is going to be legal (whether you like it or not) … doesn’t mean that pilots will be smoking it in the cockpit dude.

HondaV65 on November 30, 2012 at 7:16 PM

In reality what will really change once legalization occurs? People will smoke it just like they do now except they will no longer be law breakers. I just don’t see how things get worse.

steel guy on November 30, 2012 at 6:59 PM

There is no way to know anything specific, but one thing you can count on, is that human nature will try to exploit every new door that is opened.
One thing that society does not need is more dumbed down and stoned people.
Remember when (maybe you’re too young)..it was really something to see glimpses of a partially nude woman in a movie for the first time? The attitude was the same..”what wrong with that..loosen up people..it’s no big deal” And it wasn’t. It was tastefully done and titillating. Fast forward 40 years and now there’s people horsephuking at the click of a key whether you want to see it or not. If someone was asked you 40 years ago what would be different if restrictions were lifted on such things in movies, what actually happened would not be believed. Just an example of the nature of unintended consequences.
We don’t need to desensitize ourselves as a society, we need to sensitize ourselves to our own potential and utilize it.

If decriminalization of drugs and prostitution were as inconsequential as some would like to imagine, why have places like Holland changed their tune and tactics? They probably thought.. “Whats really going to be any different if we let people sell their drugs and their assez..Lets do it”

There are enough things making potentially smart people, stupid. We don’t need to encourage more.
Just my opinion.
.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 5:28 PM

I understand what the tenth amendment is and I agree it is a state issue. Just so I’m understanding you; You agree with me that the Federal Government has no business making drug laws?

dom89031 on November 30, 2012 at 7:30 PM

In reality what will really change once legalization occurs? People will smoke it just like they do now except they will no longer be law breakers. I just don’t see how things get worse.

steel guy on November 30, 2012 at 6:59 PM

It’ll get worse for government. As in, no more civil asset forfeiture for pot busts and thus less money brought in.

oryguncon on November 30, 2012 at 7:36 PM

Conspiracy Theories aside, which I don’t buy into, it matters because how were we functioning before hand with such consumption going on, and what impact was it having on society that would cause the laws to be enacted?

The second part of my question concerning God given rights, hasn’t anything to do about yearnings, it is about the moral person you chose to be, and you have to be careful with God Given rights, because an atheist blows that out of the water. So framing the argument using a religious context becomes tenuous, trust me I have conversed with a few in my day, and say what you will about them, some are some very shrewd cookies, when it comes to individual rights and freedoms.

MarshFox on November 30, 2012 at 7:16 PM

I don’t think that a person can actually compare days gone by with modern time and attitudes, or compare junkweed with sophisticated and genetically manipulated hydroponic marijuana.

I think the standards of behavior of the past were more easily offended by the certain kind of interactions that is common to a pot high….and people got together and made laws banning it. I don’t really think it is much more complicated than that.

The context of “God given rights” that I was referring to was Constitutional and not religious.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 7:39 PM

There are enough things making potentially smart people, stupid. We don’t need to encourage more.
Just my opinion.
.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Whats stupid is a matter of opinion. Am I stupid because I spend a lot of time playing video games? How about 6-9 hours a weekend watching football? Dancing with the stars?

Anyway, I’d say the Netherlands problems are more based on immigration and overall culture/government than solely on drugs and prostitution. They won’t even get harsh on the pimps or “loverboys” that go after under age girls for fear of racism etc..

oryguncon on November 30, 2012 at 7:41 PM

I understand what the tenth amendment is and I agree it is a state issue. Just so I’m understanding you; You agree with me that the Federal Government has no business making drug laws?

dom89031 on November 30, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Yes and no.
I think the Fed has a place in controlling the manufacture and sales of medical pharmaceuticals…which puts “medical marijuana” in an odd bind.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Whats stupid is a matter of opinion. Am I stupid because I spend a lot of time playing video games? How about 6-9 hours a weekend watching football? Dancing with the stars?

Anyway, I’d say the Netherlands problems are more based on immigration and overall culture/government than solely on drugs and prostitution. They won’t even get harsh on the pimps or “loverboys” that go after under age girls for fear of racism etc..

oryguncon on November 30, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Not really. Stupid is as stupid does. :)

By “stupid” I mean wasting an excessive amount of ones potential beyond ones free time or recreational time. Sleep all day on your day off if you want..play all the games you like.
The other side of the question is not whats stupid behavior, but what’s the smart thing to do.
If you spend a lot of time playing video games while your kidds play with your pet rattlesnake..thats not a smart thing to do. Same thing with watching sports or any number of other things.
Context is important.

Actually, the situation in Holland was, a problem with the infiltration of organized crime and them being able to use the letter of the law to their benefit. (Almost an Alinsky tactic)..and tourists coming over for the specific reason to smoke dope and cause problems. Not sure, but I think you have to be a citizen now and most of the cafe’s have been closed. Underage girls with fake documentation became a problem in prostitution for one thing.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Do you want your lab blood work done by a smoker drinker? How about nurses that must keep schedules for medications?..etc.

Fixed … just to highlight the lunacy of your argument.

Just because Mary Jane is going to be legal (whether you like it or not) … doesn’t mean that pilots will be smoking it in the cockpit dude.

HondaV65 on November 30, 2012 at 7:16 PM

So it would be better to have smokers and drinkers doing your blood work etc.?

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 7:58 PM

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 7:39 PM

That is very solid reasoning and I agree with you that times are different as are attitudes. I think you and I aren’t too very far apart in some instances anyway. I would still question how the laws came about, I think that in the fervor of making a more moral society back in the twenties and thirties, certain laws were instituted, and they were backed buy those who stood to profit, without necessarily having to get their hands dirty. In any case I think you find the populace tweaking any substance and experimentation, that has adverse affects on the original root. I would say too that anytime the Government is involved, things are always more complicated than that:) You are right though, it should be a State’s rights issue either way, the states competing with each other for our business( basically us living there) and we can each have our own utopias so to speak as we see fit. My interest in all this though has more to to with one of my God given Constitutional rights, than anything else, I have never done drugs and I quit drinking 12 years ago, cold turkey all together. I take that back, I have an occasional cigar so i guess that would be considered a drug, but I limit myself to one a week on Sunday afternoons unless I am celebrating something special. I will let you figure out what Constitutional right I am worried about preserving:)

MarshFox on November 30, 2012 at 8:00 PM

Who cares? I don’t care if a product has a 1 million percent markup. That has no relevancy to anything. That kind of thinking brings us price controls which leads to scarcity.

NotCoach on November 30, 2012 at 7:05 PM

We’re actually having two separate arguments.
My point originated in the claim that legalizing pot would take the money incentive and potential for violence because of the profit potential. A condition that would still exist in your scenario.

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 8:02 PM

dip it in cider on November 30, 2012 at 7:02 PM

What part of states right offends you so much?

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 8:06 PM

So it would be better to have smokers and drinkers doing your blood work etc.?

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 7:58 PM

Do you think that prohibition of alcohol was a good idea? Do you think the repeal of prohibition was a good idea? Do you agree that alcoholism is worse that being a pothead?

steel guy on November 30, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Destroy the sword and let every man be his own soveriegn as the founders wished.

HondaV65 on November 30, 2012 at 7:11 PM

The founders were anarchists?..Huh. who knew?

Mimzey on November 30, 2012 at 8:08 PM

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