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Legalized marijuana

ken barber

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I am curious as to how people feel about the legalization of Marijuana. I for one am all for it. Legalize it control and collect tax money from it. Currently its an estimated $20 Billion untaxed industry. Just applying a 7% sales tax increases tax revenue by $1,400,000,000. Imagine if it was taxed at the same level as Alcohol or Cigarettes



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Prohibition, as history shows, doesn't work. While I'm not a user of marijuana, the health benefits of medicines extracted from it alone should be reason to take it off the schedule one proscribed drug list. The pain relief and cancer uses of extracts from this plant are well documented.  Many doctors and patients, a large number of them honorably discharged veterans who have legitimate illnesses, such as glaucoma, have found that use of cannabis related medication and simply direct use are the only things that offer any alleviation of their condition.

Ken brings up a fantastic point with the tax revenue. Tax it at tobacco rates and we can see states making up budget shortfalls. Stick that money into fixing our roads, bridges, WATER SYSTEMS (looking at you, Michigan) and other infrastructure necessities.  Use that income to support our schools and teachers, police and fire personnel, emergency workers.  You know, those we depend on to educate the young, protect our lives, and be ready to help when disasters strike.  At what point does the sense of this not start showing dollar signs in politician's eyes?

For those worried about the effects of marijuana becoming publicly acceptable, that it would unleash chaos, tobacco and alcohol have been not only legal for generations, but form the economic back bone of several communities. Ask the state assemblies in the Carolinas to outlaw tobacco, which has been PROVEN for over FORTY YEARS to be extremely dangerous to human life in general.  I'm betting they would argue against it, similar to how the automotive industry once argued against pollution controls.  And honestly, I've met many people who use marijuana recreationally.  If violence enters their mind at all while they're using, it's likely something they're watching on TV.  Alcohol's mood altering, inhibition cancelling and rational thought suppressing properties are well documented. I'll take a weed head behind the wheel of a car over a drunk any day.

Decriminalization, taxation, experimentation (for medical purposes), and permitting the use of marijuana openly is where these things are heading.  We can either resist such, make it some kind of political point and just get slowly dragged into the future kicking and screaming like fools, or get ahead of the curve for a change, figure out legislation, taxation and implementation of policy, and free up our police to deal with more serious problems than a legal adult smoking a joint in his own home.

Besides, isn't it about time we let go of the stupid, unscientific and antiquated thinking that keeps getting us in trouble, financially, politically and morally.  How many people are in jail for years for a very minor drug conviction.  Meth dealers get out on less hard time than marijuana sellers.  Seems like a waste of jail space, tax payer's money, judicial time, and is the kind of thing that breaks up families.

Just some thoughts. If anyone has facts to refute or support this, please feel free to post links or information in here. No advertisements please.

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Of the forgotten things, try rope, canvas and clothing.

Back in the early part of the 20th century, it was found that the strongest hemp fibers came from those cultivars that had the highest cannabinol (THC) content. Hemp had a long association with not only making very strong rope and canvas, but that it was also highly mildew resistant. That was a great benefit to anything that was habitually cruising on the oceans. Still used by many nations today. But not the U.S. - it's prohibited unless treated to remove all the active psychoactive components. That tends to weaken the fibers (and remove its resistance to molds) to where cotton is just as strong.

As for actual clothing, the softness of its fibers (from the weakest cultivars), surpasses that of cotton. Does this threaten the cotton industry? It could, but let it be said that the softer stuff isn't as durable as cotton. Hemp fiber is less receptive to dyes than cotton.

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While i am certainly not a user of cannabis, (mainly because profession is one that gets drug tested, and it doesn't matter if a state legalizes it, the feds have not), I do live in Colorado, the first state to legalize it, and I have seen the effects first hand.  I have also just taken the last few moments to do some research on it, since i do not want to let my personal feelings cloud my response.  As is always the case, amusingly, i read two different articles, and can't really believe i am reading about the same topic.  the first one, posted in the USA Today Opinion page, talked about all the harm that legalization has done to Colorado.  The second one from news.lift.co, by a legalization advocate, paints a very different view.  as with all things in the news, we have to read both the good and the bad, since the truth is likely somewhere between them.  It's sort of like politics.  If you get your news from the right, President Trump is a man that walks on water, and can do no wrong.  If you get your info from the left, he is a demon that was probably responsible for your puppy dieing.  the truth is somewhere between the extremes.  Anyways, I digress, as i often do.

The one thing that both articles do agree on though, which makes me think that it can be called fact, is that the number of impaired drivers, and traffic related injuries where impaired drivers are involved has gone up.

Another thing that i think is worth mentioning, Ken brought up how the increase in tax revenue would be good, and it would.  except for the fact that, where the money was promised to go, hospitals, schools, anti-drug programs, have not seen much if any of the money.  so as usual, our representatives are screwing us over.  but we should be used to that by now, and always ask for at least a courtesy reach around so we can get some pleasure as we are being ?.  lol

Okay, I think i have rambled enough for now.  lets see what other trouble i can get into.  OH ALLEN!!!!!!

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I followed @Emperor Roland example and went looking for why cannabis became illegal. The following is an extract from an article in History Stories:

though there was no evidence to support claims that marijuana had a Jekyll-and-Hyde effect, 29 states outlawed marijuana between 1916 and 1931. The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 essentially banned it nation-wide despite objections from the American Medical Association related to medical usage. This act came just a year after the film Reefer Madness warned parents that drug dealers would invite their teenagers to jazz parties and get them hooked on “reefer.”  

The federal government and states continued to increase punishments related to marijuana until the late 1960s, when the laws began to touch white, upper-middle-class college students who were smoking the drug.

The full article is here.

One link within the article is to a piece in the Washington Post which examines how harmful cannabis is/is not, comparing it to alcohol and other drugs. Perhaps surprisingly it comes out looking good by comparison.

So it would appear that American history is responsible for making cannabis illegal through association with the scurge of Mexican immigrants at the time of the Mexican Revolution.


Refugees from Mexico at a camp on the desert in Fort Bliss, Texas during the Mexican Revolution. (Credit: OTA/Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)


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I seem to remember the "Reefer Madness" was partially a claim that it made "negros go crazy with lust and violence." Once again, the specter of American  southern racism rears it's head.  Also, it was long rumored that the cannabis ban was partly due to financial reasons. I believe it was attributed to one of the major newspaper magnates who had purchased vast tracts of forestland to feed his daily print empire's needs. Something about how hemp was cheaper.  I will have to hunt down the resources of this, but it is linked with the Yellow Journalism of the early part of last century.

If anyone has any attribution along these lines, I'd love to know the source.  I mostly remember this from high school, which was so long ago I can't be certain if it is accurate or just propaganda that was circulated by teachers with agendas.  Yet another reason our education system needs a swift kick in the lower spine.

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The campaign to prohibit of Marijuana followed right after the influx of Mexican immigrants around the time of the 1910 Mexican Revolution. Mexican immigrants used the substance much like their white neighbors used alcohol. White cops and authorities in southern border states sought ways to control the Mexican immigration and to keep the Mexicans from "disrupting" their culture so reports were made of violent crimes, aroused a ‘lust for blood,’ and gave its users ‘superhuman strength.’ Rumors spread that Mexicans were distributing this ‘killer weed’ to unsuspecting American schoolchildren.

None of which has any actual evidence. 

As a marijuana smoker I can tell you it does not incite violence or a lust for blood (Except maybe if you take my last cookie or potato chip.) And it certainly does not give me superhuman strength. 

I can share that it relaxes me and makes me more creative. I do some of my best writing when stoned. I can also tell you I have curbed my alcohol intake greatly and even though I smoke pretty regularly I am even more productive but  bit scatterbrained sometimes....What was I talking about...Oh right weed. Great Idea pass the joint. 

I spend way less on marijuana then I ever did on Booze. There have been plenty of nights I have gone out with friends to a bar or club and threw away a couple hundred dollars drinking. Now I have one or two drinks and lose my desire to drink. And I would seriously love to see someone try to smoke a couple hundred dollars worth of Mary Jane in one night. You better have a whole lot of Doritos on hand. 

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just found this:

From DEA drug fact sheet

Affect on mind
When marijuana is smoked, the THC passes from the lungs and into the bloodstream, which carries the chemical to
the organs throughout the body, including the brain. In the brain, the THC connects to specific sites called cannabinoid
receptors on nerve cells and influences the activity of those cells. Many of these receptors are found in the parts of the
brain that influence pleasure, memory, thought, concentration, sensory and time perception, and coordinated
movement. The short-term effects of marijuana include problems with memory and learning, distorted perception,
difficulty in thinking and problem-solving, and loss of coordination. The effect of marijuana on perception and
coordination are responsible for serious impairments in driving abilities. Long-term chronic marijuana use is associated
with Amotivational Syndrome, characterized by apathy, impairment of judgment, memory and concentration, and loss
of motivation, ambition and interest in the pursuit of personal goals. High doses of marijuana can result in mental
confusion, panic reactions and hallucinations. Researchers have also found an association between marijuana use and
an increased risk of depression; an increased risk and earlier onset of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders,
especially for teens that have a genetic predisposition

I want to know what kind of stanky weed those fuckers are smoking and where do I get it

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I'll come in on Ken's side of the debate here, since I've also used my fair share (though I'm currently sober and will be for awhile). I don't have facts from either side to back me up, and I'm currently too lazy to go look any up, but I do have firsthand experience. I have had bad trips, but they're few and far between compared to the good trips. Usually it's just a relaxing experience which sometimes augments my sensory experiences in ways which help me see the world differently. I appreciate that insight as a writer, and it has helped me see my way through creative blocks at times. However, it has also had negative effects on occasion. If I've used it to escape, I've quickly learned that the first anxious thought I have ends up magnified. If I expect to get a lot of work done while under the influence, that doesn't work for me. It makes me lazy. This is the primary reason why I'm going to be sober for awhile, because I have a lot to do.

I know it definitely doesn't make me violent or "fill me with lust". I'm too lazy for sex when I'm under the influence too. ;)

I'm personally for legalization, but I do believe any form of addiction (which is chemically absent in marijuana although emotional dependency can still occur) should be treated as a public health issue rather than a criminal one. Rehabilitation not imprisonment should be the answer for drug use.

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I'm just about to light one up right now. Of course, I am at home and do not plan on going anywhere. I'm going to space out with my recordings of the "Into the Badlands" TV series. If pot were legalized then maybe the price would come down. I wish I could grow my own, because I can never be certain that my stuff has not been treated in some way to make it more potent. I once had some that was laced with PCP. That was terrible, so maybe government oversight of pot production would be a good thing.

The one thing I worry about is the increase of stoned drivers on the road, but I suppose that there are plenty out there right now. Alcohol seems to be the main cause of traffic accidents.

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At this point I would love to hear from someone opposed to legalization. The only people I can find are right wing Crazies, and before some of you conservatives get your collective feathers ruffled (mine are pink and attached to a boa) I mean the ones even you shake your head at. 

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18 hours ago, ken barber said:

At this point I would love to hear from someone opposed to legalization. The only people I can find are right wing Crazies, and before some of you conservatives get your collective feathers ruffled (mine are pink and attached to a boa) I mean the ones even you shake your head at. 

If you'd like, I can go do some research and come back with some of the reasonable arguments against it. I'm perfectly comfortable debating the opposing side of an issue, even if I don't believe in it. I didn't take debate in school, but everyone in my family did . . . debating with them sharpened my skills, even if I still have some fallacious habits sometimes...

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The article in the Washington Post was very interesting and made several pertinent points. However, the main thrust of the argument was the effect on the developing adolescent brain, and any legalisation brings with it an age limit. This would usually be eighteen as with alcohol, which largely protects teenagers unless they choose to ignore the advice and the law.

The argument around addiction is one of psychological dependence as the brain changes and develops a need. I agree that is possible, but would not attribute the cause to the drug, but to the persons state of mind. Their need for support, escape, might be met by cannabis, but could equally, and more damagingly, be met by alcohol or other drugs.

There is an argument, not discussed, that cannabis use leads to harder drugs, but there is little evidence to support this. There are other drugs that should also be considered for legalisation because they too have no huge harmful effects. The writer of the article cites LSD: "The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, the first legislation designed to regulate pot, was passed amid anti-Mexican sentiment (as well as efforts to restrict cultivation of hemp, which threatened timber production); it had nothing do with scientific evidence of harm. That’s true of most drug legislation in this country. Were it not the case, LSD would be less regulated than alcohol, since the health, economic and social costs of the latter far outweigh those of the former. (Most neuroscientists don’t believe that LSD is addictive; its potential benefits are being studied at Johns Hopkins and New York University, among other places.)."

Broadly speaking the article is not against the legalisation of cannabis like the author himself is unopposed. The conclusion for me is that it would be a good move, but that there existist a need to educate teenagers, whom you cannot control or criminalise for ignoring an imposed age limit, but can attempt to mitigate any negative consequences through information. Whether legal or not, teenagers will continue to do whatever they choose, because as we all know, when you are young you are going to live forever!

Thanks @Cynus for an informative reference.

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As someone who might, if I wished, be prescribed Cannabis but choose not to, I think I'll throw in my 5 cents worth here. (By the way I have MS that's why if you're wondering).

As a surgeon treating trauma patients, cannabis based pain killers are infinitely better and less potentially addictive than the most readily available alternative for post operative neurological pain, which is Fentanyl. 

The greatest cause of death among patients over the age of 18 in our hospitals isn't too many opioids, or even cigarettes, and certainly not too many cannabis stogies, but too many hamburgers and bratwurst sandwiches and high stacks of pancakes with butter and bacon on the side! You want to compare operating on a fit, lean African 45 year old man of 55 kg for , say a tumor on the liver, and compare with having to hack through layer after layer of fat on a similarly aged 80 kg American from Ithaca! 

Cannabis? Legalise the stuff! Put a 40 per cent tax on processed meats. Provide free health care for children attending school. Pay for it by the new "Sin Tax" 

People need to pay for their choices. And have the right to have those choices too!



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