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Legalizing Marijuana!

The legalization of non-medical marijuana.

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Make drugs legal

  • Feb 24, 2010
Heated debate broke out in my home shortly after ten o'clock last night after a Law and Order SVU (duh, duh) episode, a debate which will probably make my brother hate me and question my political beliefs for a long time to come. I'm not going to go into detail about how the debate started, but what I will tell you is that I questioned whether a man can be held lawfully responsible and imprisoned for an act which never impeded on the rights of another human being, no matter how sick and perverted that act may seem to be. I said no, if you do not violate someone's rights you have not violated a just law; my brother responded with the predictable old line "then you'd allow drugs to be legal?" which opened the door for me to reveal my new found political views; yes, I would make drug use legal with the same laws and regulations as tobacco and alcohol.

The premise for this argument is a fundamental one, if you can show me one person whose rights are violated by someone else smoking pot then I'll be behind you in a ban on marijuana and other narcotic drugs, but until you can then I will back legislation for the legalization of narcotic drugs. There is no fundamental difference between drugs and alcohol, no reason why one should be legal and the other not. They both cause addiction, they both can harm society, and they both can cause death, but one is widely viewed as a basic right that people over the age of 21 may have, the other as an evil which will somehow destroy the nation and the world if allowed to be sold legally. In fact there is absolutely no evidence to support such a claim and no rationality to derive such an absurd view from. People seem to think that if drugs are made legal then everyone will start using them, that within a few years the nation will crumble into dust and descend into an age of chaos and despair. Why, I ask, would people who've been taught their whole lives that drugs are bad suddenly feel the urge to run to the nearest store and buy marijuana? It's not the laws against drug use which prevent people from using them, it's the potential harm it will cause your body and mind. It is almost laughable assertion that this nation would fall into chaos if drug use were legalized.

If someone wishes to smoke pot in the comfort of their own home or where they do not pose a threat to anyone or anything what right is it of the governments to say to them they may not? Even more disturbing is that the government may break into your home and haul you off to jail simply for possessing drugs. If you truly believe in the rights which the founding fathers wrote down in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence then you MUST be willing to take that belief to its furthest extent and support the legalization of narcotic drugs. I believe in these rights, I believe that I as a free human being may do what I darn well please as long as I do not ever impede on the rights of another, and therefore from that belief I must conclude that drug use should not be illegal, should not be punishable, and should be accepted just like alcohol and tobacco use as a basic right. "Let justice be done though the heavens may fall." -Immanuel Kant.

However, if one were to look at the war on drugs closely they'd see not only that it impedes on the rights of the individual American to the pursuit of happiness and liberty, but is harmful to society as well. The justice system in this nation exists for one reason; to adequately punish those who violate the rights of another and to prevent them from committing another crime. I've already pointed out that drug users and dealers do not violate anyone's rights by dealing with drugs, but do they run the risk of being violent liabilities to us the American tax payers? The simple answer, no. Taking drugs could, potently, turn you into a dangerous person, but so does alcohol; the mere possibility that drugs COULD lead to violence does not make with worthy of being a criminal offence. If that were the case then we'd be forced to make sporting events illegal, gun ownership illegal, alcohol, stressful working conditions, violent video games and bad eating habits illegal. The basis that drugs should be illegal because they could lead to violence is a claim that holds no water when held to scrutiny.

The war on drugs not only strips us of our basic fundamental rights, but wastes American tax dollars, supports terrorists in South America who sell these drugs, overcrowds our prisons with none violent "criminals" and causes an increase in crime. Millions of dollars are spent on the war on drugs every year, millions which could be used for better purposes or could simply be cut from the federal tax altogether in order to stimulate our economy. If not for the illegalization of drugs, narcotics would be able to be sold in stores across the nation, making it into a multi million dollar industry. Just like the like gangsters of the 1920's were not able to compete with the legalization of alcohol, it is unlikely that drug cartels in South America would be able to compete with businesses, and even if they could there would be no need for them to resort to violence to make money. Millions go to jail every year for using drugs, in my home state of Florida almost half the inmates in state prisons are drug abusers. It is estimated that my state must open two new prisons a year just to keep up with them. If drugs were legal, then gangs, who roam the streets selling drugs and killing one another for turf and customers, would have no source of income. Yes, they'd most likely move to something else, but without the thousands of dollars they can make off of drugs their influence on poor neighborhood in large cities and their appeal would wane and diminish. Plus, think of what would happen if we legalized drugs and then taxed them the way we do tobacco?

I am not in any way saying that using drugs is good and that you should go do it, what I am saying is that there is no legal reason to punish someone for using drugs just like there is no reason to ban alcohol, or tobacco, fatty foods or other self destructive substances which harm the individual but do not in and of themselves impede on anyone's rights. But if drugs were legalized jobs would suddenly pop out of nowhere, business men would create medicines to help stop drug addiction the same way some companies make gum that helps smokers stop smoking. They'd make money. Government spending would go down, taxes possibly cut; accidental deaths due to drug use would drop because now you can do it in the open without hiding. Decriminalizing drug use would work for the betterment of society and, most importantly of all, promote individual responsibility, protect civil rights, and limit the power of the federal government.
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December 02, 2010
I'd add one observation to your excellent post. I've known a number of folks who used to smoke pot and some who currently do (for either medical or recreational reasons). In general, those negatively impacted by it (performers, software engineers, etc) learned from experience that this was problematic and simply stopped because they didn't feel it was worth it. Those who were not so negatively impacted by it never did. I'd conclude that most Americans shouldn't smoke pot, but that most Americans will figure that out and avoid it. But for other hard drugs I'd ask something: If something which is patently and acutely dangerous and also highly addictive is being sold, is there a place for the government to say that, from a product safety perspective, the drug should be illegal? I'm thinking specifically of heroin here, and I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.
March 04, 2013
When it comes to hard drugs, no, I don't believe the government should ban them. Forcing people to apply appropriate warning labels, banning them from advertising like smoking is, would be a good place for government intervention, but I firmly believe it is the right of individuals to do with their body as they wish, regardless of how it effects them. Now if they harm others in the process, then yes those actions should be severely punished, but the simple act of using hard drugs should not resign one to prison with actual harmful criminals.
October 26, 2010
This is one of the most intelligently argued cases for legalization I've ever read. Basically flawless.
June 18, 2010
You sum it up very well it's a shame our nations leaders lack the vision and courage to admit that this "war" has been a huge failure. Uncounted lives have been lost, nations have been corrupted, potential benefits have been ignored all so politicians can appear to be tough on crime. Right now we have tens of thousands of troops in Afghanistan who find themselves with war lords and drug dealers as allies. Here are two statistics to ponder. Twenty five percent of the world's prisoners are in American prisons. And almost half a million people die every year from complications due to smoking tobacco not one death has ever been linked to smoking marijuana.
February 28, 2010
Interesting perspective. I, too, live in Florida, and in a prison near here, they are taking away one of the inmates' meals (I believe lunch) because they can't afford to feed them three times each day. You know the prisons are overcrowded when things like this are going on. Plus, with less money being spent on prisons, imagine how much more money could be put toward education, etc. Not to mention that I don't think a drug-user should be subjected to the same punishment (prison-time) as someone who was convicted for murder or rape. It just seems a little unfair.
More Marijuana Legalization reviews
review by . October 26, 2010
posted in Awesomeness
As a committed Libertarian yet disapprover of drug abuse, I have to say it's time we Freed The Weed. Personally, I'm sick of the smell of pot whenever I walk around San Francisco and I only stick to drugs that advertise during Superbowl commercials, but the criminalization issue has become ridiculous.      Protect the children!      Anyone who seriously believes that teenagers are not already smoking pot privately is naive (I found out what boofing …
review by . December 02, 2010
Our drug laws are messed up.  There is no sense of proportionality of threat in what is regulated or how heavily.  Strangely marijuana plants are the only plants subject to an outright ban in the US under the Controlled Substances Act.  Even opium poppies are not banned by that act (though putting the flowers in ornamental, cut flower arrangements is, bizarrely).      I do not smoke pot.  I did a few times in college and found it, well, boring.  Moreover …
Quick Tip by . December 11, 2011
I think if they came up with laws and guidelines as with alcohol and tabacco, the legalization of weed would be much better! I mean, Amsterdam had legalized it, so why can't we? It would also make the stuff much cheaper and we would probably have more control over its distribution (as with not selling to minors)      If it does get legalized, I hope the restrictions and guidelines don't get as annoying as with cigarettes. SF had gotten very silly with some ordinances, …
About the reviewer
Jonathan J.D. Lane ()
Ranked #118
I am a member of the US Air Force and presently serve overseas at RAF Mildenhall about three hours north of London. I grew up in Pappilion Nebraska and Crestview Florida, but since joining the Air Force … more
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Attempts to decriminalize cannabis  in the United States began in the 1970s. Several jurisdictions have subsequently decriminalized cannabis (also referred to as marijuana or marihuana) for non-medical purposes, as views on cannabis have liberalized, peaking in 1978.  The decriminalization movement supports efforts ranging from reducing penalties for cannabis-related offenses to removing all penalties related to cannabis, including sale and cultivation. Proponents of cannabis decriminalization argue that a substantial amount of law-enforcement resources would be freed, which could be used to prevent more serious crimes, and would reduce income earned by street gangs and organized crime who sell or traffic cannabis. Opponents argue that cannabis on street level today has a much higher percent of THC  with a stronger drug effect, the decriminalization will lead to increased crime, increased cannabis usage, and subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs. Gonzales v. Raich, 2005 ruled in a 6-3 decision that the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution allowed the federal government to ban the use of cannabis, including medical use.
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Politics, Drugs, Public Policy, Marijuana, Drug Laws, Drug Legalization


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