Thursday, March 1, 2012

I'm Somewhat Shocked

But I guess there are more idiots (or, to be less-offensive - more 'uninformed individuals') out there than I'd care to admit.

A member of a coalition that I'm on just sent this out -

To vote online go to and click on 'informed debate' in the contents column on the left.

I did this.

And found this -

Really people? Really? Some states have tried this. Bad things happen. Non-medical marijuana use increases. People figure if it's being used as medicine it can't be that bad for me. (NOT TRUE). And it still counts as a gateway drug. Use marijuana... and move on to using other drugs. Not always. I know there are plenty of stories starting with, 'I used marijuana and never...' or 'My friend used for years and never...' Okay. Fine. But it's called a gateway drug because there are plenty of people who move on to the harder more serious drugs.

Marijuana isn't safe. It isn't good for you. There are harmful effects to the body that come from using the drug.

The argument that you're taking away the appeal because it's no longer illegal doesn't work either. Proof - those states who have made it legal. Like I said before, their rates of non-medical use have increased.

And - depending on your opinion of the federal gov't this could possibly influence your thinking either way - it's against federal law. States that are legalizing marijuana are going against federal law. Meaning the feds can come in and bust up the dispensaries. And I hope they do.

And, for those who argue that everyone has a right to choose if they want to use marijuana or not and you're taking away the freedom to choose. Let me just say - LAWS LIMIT FREEDOMS. That's what they do. ALL laws. You can still choose whether or not you want to obey that law, and if you don't, then you open yourself up to having to face the consequences that come from not obeying the law. We have laws to help keep us safe as a society. Sure, I might not want to stop at every stop sign that I come to on my way to work. But if I don't, I risk getting into an accident putting myself and others at risk. It's taking away my freedom to just keep going. But it's worth it.

So go to the website and vote.

But only if your vote is 'No.'

(just kidding. ... kind of.) (:


sarah davies said...

[This is my politely-intended voice of disagreement. Also, long-winded. I don't really mind if you decide not to publish this on your post! :)]

I have absolutely no desire to smoke pot, but I disagree with your position. And I don't think it's because I'm uninformed - I just see things differently. :)

For example, I don't think that "it's bad for you" is a strong enough reason to make something illegal. If it were, a sedentary lifestyle and a high-sugar diet should be at the top of the list of behaviors needing legal action!

Instead, I think that "it's harmful to other people" is a more valid reason to oppose a behavior (e.g., driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs - I fully support legislation against that kind of behavior). You suggested that pot is considered a gateway drug. I guess I would need to see some very convincing - and convergent - data supporting a causal inference between marijuana use and specific behaviors that harm (and cost) society.

I (like others you mentioned in your post) am personally acquainted with people of high integrity, responsible civic behavior, and strong family values who smoked pot in the past or smoke it currently. These are responsible people. Which leads me to think that the kinds of people who smoke pot - similar to the kinds of people who drink alcohol - are an INCREDIBLY diverse group. It's much more difficult to generalize about the consequences of their drug use than the use of other "harder" drugs.

Ultimately though, my biggest concern with the legality or illegality of pot is the legal consequences. As things currently are, I think the punishment for use/possession of marijuana is inappropriate and excessive in a society unable to use incarceration to effectively rehabilitate people.

Phew - sorry for the long-windedness!

eden said...

i will be the first to admit that this post was thrown together quickly. with that being said, i do think there are counter-arguments (and data to support them) to some of the points you brought up. i'll maybe try to find them when i have more time. (:

but thanks for your response. i do think it's always interesting to hear the other side - especially if it gets me to look a bit deeper into the situation and make me more informed of my own side. (:

Matthew Neal said...

Something that is mentioned in the Costco article that often gets thrown out in the debates is the idea that if we make marijuana legal then the illegal organizations that profit from it so will simply throw up their hands, go home and start candy and puppy dog stores in their neighborhoods. A wise Family Life 100 professor I had in college made the point that since the infrastructure is already there, these groups will simply move into a different product that is also detrimental to society. This happened in the era of prohibition. When alcohol became legal, the mobs continued, just using different products. So I don't agree that we will all of sudden have no problems with cartels and the law enforcement working on them and drug users will have much more time and resources.
And another thing, this Costco poll has a tainted sampling population. I mean where else are marijuana users going to get so much food at such a good price to satisfy their munchies?