Friday’s “Should Marijuana Be Made Legal?” Debate

To start the debate off, let’s look at the stupid, which, unshockingly, comes from Russ Belville at the Huffington Post. Russ is a National Organization for the Reform Of Marijuana Laws, as well as the host of the NORML Show Live. And, yes, his picture at the HuffPuff Post does look exactly like the stereotypical pot smoker: If “Cops Don’t Make Laws, They Just Enforce Them,” Why Are Police Opposing Marijuana Legalization?

Since fourteen states have legalized the use of cannabis for sick and disabled people we here at NORML have reported on numerous stories of medical users harassed, arrested, and jailed by police. We have also reported on healthy adults in all fifty states whose lives are turned upside down by an arrest, sometimes losing student loans, jobs, children, pets, dignity, property, and freedom over a single joint, seed, or even a cannabis stem. When we and others bring up these insane injustices to the police who are making these arrests, we often hear the platitude that “cops don’t make the laws, we just enforce the laws.”

So why do we consistently see representatives of law enforcement opposing medical marijuana, marijuana decriminalization, and marijuana legalization efforts in state legislatures?

Well, Russ, buuuuuuudy, it could be because police officers are allowed to speak their minds in this wonderful democracy (yes, I know, it is a Republic) our Forefathers bled for. It could be that law enforcement sees things happening in the real world with mary jane smokers that people who are doped to the gills, sitting on their couches, listening to Yes while playing Gears of War do not see.

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Russ does bring an interesting amount of stats, polls, and figures to the debate, in effect, telling the police that they are wrong and should not be allowed to have those opinions. And this does beg the question, should loco weed be made completely legal? Not just for medical use, but, for all use, with, of course, the same type of controls and regulations that we have for alcohol and even prescription medicines.

On one hand, people will say that it is much easier to grow at home, so it will not be fully controlled, and tax revenue (yes, we would tax it) would decline. Of course, people can also make beer, wine, and hard liquor at home, and what is the quality control on that, much less lost revenue?

We can also look at the potential short term memory and motor function loss while high, and there are still no satisfactory studies which can discuss the long term effects of smoking ganja. Alcohol is legal, and we do know the health risks in both the short and long term, which are considerably worse than giggleweed, particularly when we throw in those pesky physiological and psychological addictions, something not present for sativa.

Personally, I couldn’t care less. I don’t smoke it. I have back in boarding school, where you couldn’t get away with drinking, but, haven’t touched it since. I found it to be boring (just for transparency, I do not drink that much, either, and do not drugs.) That said, my view of American Conservative theory, also known as Classica Liberalism, tells me that if it doesn’t affect me negatively, why should I care if it is legal and people smoke it? As long as I am not being subjected to the smoke, and to people who reek of hemp (and, yes, those of you who smoke it, you do stink. Try using a hit towel, and change your clothes before going out), no skin off my nose.

There are all sorts of arguments for and against legalization, but, to break it down, what is your opinion?

(the poll is not showing on the front page, you can go here if you want to vote, or go into the post)

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