Should the prohibition of marijuana continue?
Side Score: 89
Side Score: 18
Marijuana should definitely be legalized. Tobacco is much more harmful to the human body yet the government bows down to the needs of "Big Tobacco". The government spends so much money on the "War on Drugs" and yet doesn't realize if they just legalized marijuana they could start taxing it and collecting a ton of money that could be put to better purposes, such as fixing health care or Social Security.
Look at the history, then decide.
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How would that help? You'd still have marijuana as a illegal drug and the most significant deterrents against its use would be removed. Instead we should legalize marijuana and put heavy taxes on it, similar to those levied on Alcohol and Tobacco. Of course then we'd still have to find a way to regulate the import, a task possibly as difficult as preventing marijuana use altogether for many of the same reasons.
Not at all. Just make it illiegal to sell to minors, and restrict minors from puchase and use...how is this any more harmful than a cigarette?
Feel free to discuss mind altering affects, but NOTHING in the world has a more negative affect on the mind than nicotine...trust me, I use both. I never waited for a guy to finish a joint so I could swoop in a finish the last few drags.
Recent studies that were highlighted in the BBC3 UK documentary "Should I smoke Pot?" showed marijuana is actually more dangerous than I previously believed. The really interesting point the documentary highlighted was the risk of psychosis from taking the drug where the THC content was very high. In one session a test subject rated a 14 for psychosis, it was highlighted that a 1 or 2 was normal and above a 4 was generally considered to be in the ballpark of the schizophrenic.
Why am I bringing this up when I'm against criminalising the drug? The answer really lies in how people get hold of marijuana in the first place. People will, no matter what the law tries to enforce, use marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes. With that said these users have no real access to quality control over their drug. They can get hold of very high THC content skunk which can quickly make them paranoid and prone to all the negative effects of psychosis. Where they may be better choosing a much lower THC variety imported.
If the drug were controlled, distributed legally and taxed. The levels could be monitored, the dealers, many of whom are dealing in harder drugs and offering those up too would be out of business overnight. This would sever the link some users have who are suggestable to moving onto harder drugs. Also de-criminalising the drug will make it easier to treat people who do end up abusing it and need help. If you have a drink problem today, you can turn to friends and family as well as your doctor. If you're a "druggy" you're very unlikely to get any help from anyone, making any problem you might develop possibly worse.
With everything legal and marijuana available in cafes (as they are in Amsterdam for instance) the public can be educated on what the real side effects of the drugs are, what the benefits are and have the ability to choose wisely on various strains to find one that suits that person. Just as I might end up finding out I prefer shandy when I go to bars. A mixture of beer and lemonade which makes it less alcoholic.
Finally I think the children would benefit too. If it became socially acceptable to smoke pot in special cafes open only to adults then children would not have easy access as they do now with all the street dealers around.
I could easily write a book, on all the reasons why this prohibition should end.
Simply though... This prohibition hasn't had any effect, it hasn't accomplished or even gotten close, to it's own goals. And more and more evidence is piling up, showing that legalization doesn't make things any worse off than they are now. So all we are doing by having this prohibition, is arresting and jailing and violating the private rights of our citizens. Prohibition also creates a black market, that we could easily destroy via legalization... Along with the crime and violence that comes with that.
In my mind, no one else should have any greater authority over your own body, than you. And no one should have the right to tell you, that you can't do something that you want, to yourself. We are adults living in a free country, Why do we not have the right to make such choices? As long as we act responsibly, and don't harm others, what is our crime?
At the very least, We shouldn't be locking people up, for non-violent non-victim "crimes".
BTW, I believe decriminalization will not solve the important issues. Only the selfish or the misinformed support decriminalization over legalization. Legalization is the key to regulating it to make it safer, and to taxing it, which could GREATLY improve our economy right now.
I think the biggest reason that marijuana is illegal is a cultural one. If you've never smoked it, it's hard to describe how it makes you feel. The best way I can put it is that it relaxes you enough for you to notice the world around you. It slows the momentum of life so that you are more aware of your environment. This leads me to my next part. It's going to require a leap, so follow me. The only function of our government is to maintain a robust economy. Most everything can be understood under this one assumption. The main goal of our government is to keep us preoccupied, to keep us serving the economy by producing and consuming. Our government is a client of corporations. It's another tool that large businesses use to reach their goals. They invest in government like they invest in a business venture, with the expectation that it will make them more money.
A requirement of this ever churning, ever expanding economy is the passivity of its participants' inquiries and the maintenance of their blind actions. This brings me to my conclusion. When you smoke marijuana, you start to think more about the requirements of your brain and your mind (What do I truly NEED?) You start to ask questions like, "Do I really need that many THINGS?", "Is it natural to be obligated to a flourescently lit office building for 40 hrs every week of your life to basically move paper from one place to another, to be treated like a child whose time is monitored, and reprimanded by a "boss"?" "Do I get meaning from my life or am I just a cog in the wheel of this economy, eg. is it essential for the universe to contain operating services clerical specialists?" "Why can't I grow a plant in my backyard, but I can be on numerous synthetic prescription medications?"
There are other reasons that marijuana should be legal or at least decriminalized, but I believe this is the biggest obstacle: We might actually wake up and analyze what our lives are, what consequences our behaviors have on ourselves, our neighbors, and the rest of the world. We might stop consuming.
If the U.S. were to legalize weed it could take us out of this recession due to the fact that they will tax the hell out of it. More people could get jobs because they wouldn't have to worry about drug tests. And it would make more jobs for people: farming it, selling it, bong and pipe sales will go up, etc.
Prohibition is doing more harm then marijuana. The government is wasting to much money on enforcing it, people are going to jail who shouldn't, people are being killed by poisoned marijuana and chemical relationships because its not being sold in a safe environment, in a safe way, but rather on the streets, and its not doing any good, also it can be sold to minors as easily as it can be sold to adults. Also the government loses a lot of tax money off the sale of marijuana.
No, no, no, no, no. Listen, I don't know how many times I've said this, in however many debates, but marijuana's legalisation would be a step in the right direction. To put the kabosh on pot would be a bad decision, it would fling us into the past, in one sense or another. America's economy would benefit from the sales, and people who are already addicted haven't anything to worry about! If people go out and fuck up their lives because they haven't enough self-control to smoke only on occasion, well, that isn't the government's problem.
Potential short-term effects of marijuana
feelings of intoxication
dry mouth and throat
loss of coordination or poor sense of balance
decreased reaction time
difficulty in listening or speaking
impaired or reduced short-term memory
impaired or reduced comprehension
impairments in learning and memory, perception, problem solving, and judgment
altered sense of time
reduced ability to perform tasks requiring concentration and coordination, such as driving a car
altered motivation and cognition, making the acquisition of new information difficult
intense anxiety or panic attacks
Long-term effects.Because marijuana use is highly associated with cigarette smoking, determining which consequences may be attributed to marijuana use rather than to cigarette use is difficult. While not enough research has been done to determine the specific effects of marijuana, according to the American Council for Drug Education there is growing evidence that it may affect the brain, lungs, heart, and immune system. Marijuana use may
lead to a decreased ability to concentrate
lead to a decreased ability to learn and remember things
delay the onset of puberty in men
decrease sperm production in men
disrupt the menstrual cycle and inhibit discharge of eggs from the ovaries
damage the immune system
increase cancer rates
increase rates of respiratory problems and disease
To say that it should be made legal because it is less harmful to you than alcohol or tobacco is not logical in any sense. The key term to realize here is HARMFUL. Whether it is more or less harmful than other legal drugs doesn't make a difference. It is illegal because of the negative effects it has on your body. To argue that, "that isn't fair because alcohol and tobacco" is stupid to say. My reasoning behind this is that alcohol and tobacco aren't illegal because to try to make something illegal that has been legal for so long is nearly impossible. Back when America passed the prohibition laws, they didn't stop anyone from smuggling alcohol into the country. In fact, crime rates went up and eventually they had to re-legalize it.
The argument you're using is what they call a "slippery slope rationalization" and it's completely flawed. If Marijuana is directly connected to harder drug use, then cigarettes lead to marijuana use and they should also be illegal... This makes about as much sense as saying that 6th graders playing "spin the bottle" leads to unprotected premarital sex. And if pot proceeds really went to terrorists, then we should legalize it, tax it, regulate it, gain the profits ourselves, and eliminate the terrorists' market. Also, apathy can be fueled by many many things aside from pot. I don't see anyone racing to ban television.
I would love to see the statistics that back up the following statements you made:
1.It starts people down the path to harder drug use
2. Billions of dollars go towards terrorist organizations through the marijuana trade
3. would get even more as people went experimenting from pot to cocaine and heroin
Where is the hard data that backs your claims of #1, 2, & 3. People cite your reasons as a strong arguement for keeping marijuana legal, but there is flaws in that.
#1 - There is no data that specifically proves that marijuana causes people to experiment with harder drugs. This argument is subjective to individual experince; therefore it cannot be used to support the prohibition of marijuana because there is more smokers who have not tried harder drugs than there is smokers who have.
#2 - This claim never existed until after 9-11 happened and governmental scare tactics used on the population to further it's own agenda. If anyone knows drugs and their nature, they'd know that marijuana money is chump change to harder, more expensive drugs. If a terrorist organization were to make money from the export of illegal drugs, they are more likely to sell cocaine, heroin, and/or MDMA (Ecstasy). Therefore, the likeliness of marijuana being a major source of income for terrorist organizations is very low.
#3 - Is connected to #1 and therefore, is invalid.
The argument you are putting forth goes against the principle that the country's population can be trusted to make their own decisions as long as no-one else is harmed. Marijuana has a track record of being the safest drug around, safer even then alcohol.
Furthermore, the argument that terrorist groups benefit from the marijuana trade is just a myth. Most street-level cannabis dealers would get their product from someone who grows it in the same country - the profit margin of cannabis is small compared to other drugs so importing it is usually not financially worthwhile. Also, you're forgetting that ending the prohibition of marijuana would cut these suppliers out of the system and force them to go legit. Alcohol prohibition in the '30s forced alcohol into the hands of organised crime, and provided them with a source of income as well as putting the general population in danger of an unregulated alcohol market. Once the prohibition was lifted this took away the criminals' largest source of income and allowed the government to control the standards of alcoholic drinks. The same principle applies here - organised criminals would have one less source of income, and the rumoured 'dangerously strong strains of cannabis' could be outlawed so companies growing the plant would only sell it at a sensible and controlled strength.
Also, your argument about cannabis users experimenting with other drugs such as cocaine and heroin: this 'gateway drug' argument is simply unusable in the argument concerning legalisation because legalisation would remove the drug's gateway effects. The idea of cannabis being a gateway drug stems from the idea that, in pursuit of buying cannabis, an individual would associate themselves with the people who sell it: criminals. Drug dealers (like any businessman) naturally want to maximise their profit so they would offer up a stronger drug later on. The lack of distinction between cannabis and stronger drugs (because they're all illegal anyway) would mean the user is more open to trying these drugs. Legalisation would not only remove the criminal market but would also create a visible barrier between what is safe to try and what isn't.
In conclusion, the legalisation of marijuana would be, ultimately, a harm reduction measure. Gangs would lose a source of income and would become less powerful, users would no longer have to associate with criminals, and for once the population of what is meant to be a free country would have the power to make a decision that affects no-one but themselves. That isn't even touching on the other benefits of legalisation, including freeing up space in the over-crowded prison system, providing an additional source of government income in the form of tax and freeing up police time to tackle violent crimes.