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Legalizing Marijuana... are we ready?

Discussion in 'All-Star Threads' started by Bong McPuffin, Nov 13, 2009.

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  1. Frebis

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    I wasn't saying that.

    Someone earlier in the thread was arguing about the ammount of deaths caused by cigarettes, as opposed to Meth or some other hard drug. I didn't think that was a fair argument. You should look more at the percentage of users that die.
     
  2. Beefy Phil

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    It's not worthless. If you blow a .03 on a Breathalyzer, you're not DUI. You're not even DWAI which, in my state, requires that you blow .05, or are demonstrably intoxicated. To my knowledge, and despite Crazy Wolf's snarky comments, there is presently no chemical test for marijuana that is even close to this precise, which it would need to be if you want to arrest someone who has legal cannabis in a vehicle that doesn't smell like smoke, and whose operator isn't obviously impaired.

    If you remember correctly, this all goes back to manbehindthecurtain's idea that the police should be permitted to detain someone who is merely in possession of what would be a legal substance while sitting in a motor vehicle during a traffic stop. Without clear guidelines delineating how much cannabis is too much to drive, and an exact measure of how much a given driver has in his system at moment he is stopped, this idea unavoidably puts innocent people in jail, which is what legalization is supposed to prevent in the first place.
     
  3. Obviously5Believer

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    The rate of drug use is not inversely proportional to the harshness of the penalties for it. You're assuming that decriminalization/legalization leads to more use, which is not only a baseless assumption, it's actually been empirically disproved. I suggest you watch the video from the CATO institute that was already posted, or just search for some articles on Portugal's drug laws. What used to be the number one public health problem in that country is going away. Drug use is down across the board, while it is spiking in virtually every other Western country. Young people are using less drugs, and those that do can seek help with no fear of criminal repercussions. Cases of AIDS from shared needles has dropped dramatically. They are spending less money on law enforcement, and more on treatment. The number of people seeking counseling has shot up (nice pun huh).

    By virtually every category imaginable, Portugal's policy has been a resounding success. None of the people like you who bitched and moaned about how Lisbon was going to turn into an international drug haven, and how junkies would be roaming the streets and you'd have to step over an OD victim on your way to work, absolutely none of it came true.

    Even if you don't think decriminalization would work, you have to admit that criminalization hasn't. Drug use is increasing in this country every single year. You tell me how it makes sense that we spend billions of dollars a year on enforcement, and the majority of highschoolers have tried weed by the time they graduate. Or how the lifetime marijuana usage rate for people over 12 is 40 percent. What do you suggest we do? Capital punishment? There really is not another viable option at this point.
     
  4. manbehindthecurtain

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    The conception behind my idea is based on the idea that being pulled over for suspicion of being under the influence would not be abused by law enforcement. If I get a speeding ticket a 3pm in the afternoon for doing 50 in a 35 zone, chances are I'm not going to have to deal with suspicion of DUI. I concede it is naive to assume that law enforcement wouldn't test for THC just to get an arrest if someone was pulled over for a broken taillight, but the crux of my position is that if our society was to allow marijuana use, the rules need to be just as severe for DUI as would be for alcohol, and without an exact test for measurement, it becomes very tricky. I would amend my stance for fairness, in that if someone can pass a field sobriety test, despite THC levels, that could be a suitable gauge of potential for safe driving.

    With no "exact" test available, I would gladly agree to those rules in order to achieve the decriminalization of marijuana. If I can pass a field test, the infraction should be for speeding, not for DUI in the example above, if I was pulled over at 3pm with weed in the car.

    Also, for what it is worth, in Pennsylvania, you cannot operate a vehicle with an open container of alcohol, which would be in effect the same thing as having a baggie of weed and a pipe in the car with you. I made the gross assumption that "probable cause" for pulling someone over for driving under the influence could be done fairly and rationally, ie: if you're not breaking the law or driving erratically, you don't have anything to worry about (like people who bitch about parking tickets even though they broke the law), but you are right, in reality my original idea opens up too much ambiguity for prosecution.
     
  5. Kubla Kahn

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    Manbehindthecurtain's worded it poorly originally but was implying that if you have traces in your system then you should face the repercussions. That set off the whole debate. My point was that even with alcohol it is not required that you take a ANY of the standard test and still can be arrested and charged with a DUI. So I am saying that, while I think there would be some sort of definitive rules laid down (how ever impossible you might think they be), it takes a lot less than you think to be charged with it in the first place. DUI's are so demonized in our society that it brings about harsh rules and harsh penalties, and thus there are probably a good portion of innocent people convicted of them while they might have been "under the limit."
     
  6. krusht

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    I think decriminalizing all drugs is the right step to take. It's not like legalizing drugs will make more people take them. The amount of money the government spends keeping people in jail for drug based crimes is astronomical, and that would be solved if drugs were made legal, because there would be no more drug based crime.
     
  7. tellkyle

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    this may have been covered, i didn't go back and read because a lot of peoples perceptions are annoying at the very least. anyways, I would be more than happy to submit to this in a pullover if it meant that the good herb became legal.

    http://www.rapidexams.com/SalivaConfirm ... 0panel.htm

    SALIVACONFIRM Instant Saliva Drug Test
    [​IMG]


    I, i mean my friend, can easily abstain for three hours so as not to be intoxicated and just take care of business when he gets to his destination. It only screens for recent use, unlike hair or urine tests. It also claims to be instant, which if its even close, good enough for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm an ardent Libertarian on this issue and think everything should be legal. Darwin will sort out the crack-heads fast enough. I just want to be able to enjoy a beautiful plant instead of vodka sometimes.
     
  8. Obviously5Believer

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    Maybe the cop can answer this, but is there really any pressure to develop this kind of stuff right now? Maybe if it were legal, a miniscule amount of that drug war money could be funneled into research for an accurate, reliable THC test and we'd have one in a year. As it is now I bet most of the traffic stops where an officer can smell it or see it result in a charge for possession, not DUI. I really have no idea so someone should explain what goes on.

    Anyways I do think it is possible to safely drive while high, depending on your experience and awareness. I do on occasion and I can't tell you how many times I've been the one avoiding people on cell phones, people eating, and people just not fucking paying attention. A good driver shouldn't become a bad driver on weed, in fact I think I might drive more carefully when I'm high. Maybe that's because I've never tried to do it when I was too stoned to function. Unlike every single time I have been drunk and would never dream of trying to get behind the wheel. It really is a difficult area though, but I don't think people would be inclined to drive and smoke as much if they could get to their destination and toke up without discretion.
     
  9. ghettoastronaut

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    So as to avoid de-railing the drug use thread ...


    You missed what I was getting at here. The reason the pharmacist thinks that oxycodone should be pulled off the market isn't just because it's bad and people get addicted, it's because its addiction potential is so strong as to make its use in therapy more harmful than beneficial. This is an important distinction, and I think I might have gone too far into a medical discussion. The point being, if you're going to say that street drugs ought to be legalized and that no substance should remained banned, that implicitly calls for a lot of medicine to come out from behind the control of a prescription, and that the government shouldn't be in the business of banning stuff like thalidomide any more than it should crystal meth. As I said, a lot of medicines (amyl nitrate, nitrous oxide, or Viagra) have recreational uses, but also have legitimate clinical uses. And there are medicines where extremely careful dosing and monitoring is needed so that people don't kill themselves. I do have a bit of a libertarian streak and support drug legalization, but the thought of someone being able to pick up a bottle of warfarin (for example) of their own accord kind of scares me. I was once told a story of a pharmacist who accidentally dispensed warfarin 5 mg tablets instead of 1 mg tablets; the mistake was, fortunately, caught, but this patient would have bled out and died in less than a week if it wasn't, and nobody would have figured out what was going on or been able to fix it in time; it also interacts with a shit ton of other drugs. It has zero recreational use, and zero abuse potential. Should it be just as unrestricted as crystal meth and marijuana?

    See what I'm getting at here?

    EDIT: Because I can't resist throwing in all these weird facts, warfarin was first found in plants that cows in pasture would eat and, consequently die from. So it was used as a rat poison for many years. Then, when someone tried to commit suicide using it and failed, it was realized that it wasn't quite as deadly as previously thought, and its illustrious career as a blood thinner began from there.
     
  10. DrinksOnTheHouse

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    We don't smoke that shit in the SFC

    How does that thing work? If you can't get saliva on it, than you are known to be high? Cuz, its cotton mouth, get it?? Or do they just wheel a cart of doritos and twinkies? Cuz, it munchies, get it??

    And this is probably why politics should not be a topic on this board. If you don't think drug legalization is an inherently political discussion, don't know what I can say. We are discussing what policies our society should follow.
     
  11. tellkyle

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    Yes. Heres why. Who goes to the store to buy blood thinner unless their doctor has told them to? Maybe they are doing it for suicide... Guess what, put it back behind the counter, and the person can just go buy a rope.

    Now here's a question for you. Do you think tylenol should be behind the counter, prescription only? After all, it has a terrible safety profile, even compared to many of the street drugs you mentioned.
     
  12. Crown Royal

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    I'll say it one more time: jailing people and extended prison terms is NOT the answer for drug possession and abuse. Sure, If you're pushing crack to grade school kids, I think maybe a stay in the crotch-biter block will do you some good, but a guy who fell on hard times and spiralled into addiciton does not seserve to go to jail. They deserve coucilling and/or support to become better for society.

    Not everyone that goes to prison is an aminal, but they will be one when they come out. That is a FACT. Jail is not the answer for drugs, especially marijuana. I mean, if you put the potheads in jail, then who's going to teach art class in all the high schools or run the movie theatre projectors?
     
  13. E. Tuffmen

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    I know this is not on focus, but as a side note to that, in the hospital I work for, in addition to seeing a lot of alcohol related problems, I also see a lot of suicide attempts. Almost every single one has been with the use of prescribed medication, and most of those people have a history of depression, bipolar disorder, etc. In the cases where it is not prescribed medication... Tylenol PM or other aspirin based products.
     
  14. Kubla Kahn

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    I agree that we could help addiction out a lot better by going about it different ways. This claim that potheads are being locked up and doing hard time for sparking a joint just doesn't sound right. I've never looked at the statistics for jail sentences based on the crime but this seems like a hyperbole argument to me. I had a friend busted in Kentucky with more than a few ounces and he never set foot in a jail, my old roommate got busted for distribution, had multiple bags portioned out, when he lived in the dorms and didn't spend more than a few nights in county(mostly because he didn't have bail). For the most part getting caught with a personal amount and/or paraphernalia doesn't bring more than a fine and maybe some community service. With how broke the state governments are, keeping jails packed with minor offenses waste money they don't have, the argument doesn't make sense.
     
  15. Renholder

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    You bring up a good point. We should make J-walking and nose picking felonies, too. Hell, that should really pump money into the economy with all the new inmates.
     
  16. ghettoastronaut

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    Tylenol has a great safety profile, and I've said repeatedly that I support drug legalization. I don't get it. Comparing Tylenol on a safety basis to oxycodone or crystal meth is stupid. It takes pretty severe abuse of Tylenol to do damage (i.e. a lot of overdoses occur because people will take two extra strength tylenol and a swig of nyquil without realizing what they've done), and it's not as though someone jonesing for for a tylenol fix is going to pop a bunch of pills and OD (caveat: I do know one exceptional human being who claimed to be addicted to it once). And as you say, if someone wants to kill themselves they're going to do it another way, so trying to stop that is stupid. It's not the people who want to hurt themselves that I'm concerned about. The number of people who have to be re-admitted to hospital because of the drugs they were given during a previous visit is astounding (it amounts to something like 7% of all hospital admissions); and that's when you have one highly educated professional diagnosing and prescribing, and another one double-checking to make sure that a mistake wasn't made, all under tightly controlled conditions. Turn that shit loose, and watch the shit hit the fan. And what if antibiotics were made open to all? Resistance rates would skyrocket, and fast. Point is, as much as I do support people's ability to freely take professional advice and take responsibility for themselves, or to fuck themselves up in whichever way they please, there's still a laundry list of things that need oversight and control. Though I will say they don't need oversight by the police or the judicial system.

    A former RCMP forensics guy brought up some stats about this once in a lecture. The number of people in jails who smoked marijuana is apparently quite small, as are the percent of people arrested on marijuana charges who end up in jail. As far as I'm concerned, even one person is still too many. A senseless waste of resources, tax dollars, and one pothead's life.
     
  17. tellkyle

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    Anyone who TLDR's the above post probably doesn't belong here. I will be keeping an eye on your posts sir, just well done.
     
  18. carpenter

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    What the fuck is TLDR?
    How many fucking acronyms am I going to have to learn in my lifetime?
     
  19. SaintBastard

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    Seek a certain type of pleasure and having men with guns kick down your door and carry you away for it sounds pretty fucking stupid to me. There are those among us who simply won't settle for second hand smoke. And as long as they are not hurting anybody or violating the rights of others, they should be free to pursue whatever forms of pleasure they desire.
     
  20. Allord

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    Bong McPuffin, whose avatar is a Marry-jew-anna leaf, is in favor of legalizing weed?

    I never would have guessed.

    tl; dr

    too long; didn't read

    When someone responds to a post with tl; dr it means the post they're referring was way too long and they just didn't read it.

    On the other hand if a post is really long to the point where the poster predicts that some readers may be too intimidated by it to read it, the poster may put tl; dr and then a brief one sentence summary of what he said so that lazy people get the point.

    tl; dr: I'm a dork who knows his interbutts.
     
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