Friday, November 30, 2012 3:42 PM
“CharlesM” MejiaRANGER8221

October 30, 2012
I have smoked pot. Not today or this week, or even this month, but I have. I’m telling you this because before I begin talking about the pot-smoking habits of others, I thought it would only be right that I first owned up to my own past use. Maybe this will encourage others to be a bit more honest because, like it or not, admitting to smoking pot is bound to get a lot less scandalous Three states — Colorado, Washington and Oregon — have marijuana legalization proposals on the ballot, and it won’t be surprising if at least one of them passes. Not medical marijuana, mind you, but the regulation and selling of small quantities for recreational use. If you thought Nirvana and Pearl Jam put Seattle on the map, legal marijuana will make it out of this world. And I promise that will be my last pot joke, although being silly about pot illustrates why it’s taken this long for the country to begin adult conversations about marijuana, and not just knee-jerk rhetoric based on fear instead of facts. When President Nixon signed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act,
officially starting the so-called war on drugs, it was largely in response to pot-smoking hippies and Vietnam vets coming home addicted to heroin. Nixon budgeted $100 million to fight what he called public enemy No. 1 — illegal drugs. In 2010, it was $15 billion. A trillion dollars has been spent on the war on drugs since it began Two government reports released last year had difficulty proving the billions being spent are making a big difference. In 1970, the federal government listed pot to be more harmful than cocaine and meth. We now know that isn’t true. That’s not to say legalizing pot is without risks; it has been shown to impair concentration. But one study found alcohol was by far the most dangerous drug, followed by heroin and crack. Weed rated far down the list.So why do we continue to allow the Nixon administration’s hatred of hippies to influence what we think about drug usage today? I don’t know how much or how little tax revenue is actually going to come from state-sanctioned pot, but to me that’s not the point.
The issue isn’t how much money the government can make from pot sales, but rather, are the reasons why pot was originally classified as illegal still valid today? Now that we have studies that debunk the myth of longtime impairment from using pot, now that we see how ineffective the government has been in keeping pot off the streets, now that we have seen the gangland violence of drug cartels, should we still be looking at marijuana the way we did 40 years ago? In the 1928 presidential election, Herbert Hoover crushed his opponent, Al Smith, winning 40 states, in part because Smith was demonized as “the cocktail president.” Smith was in favor of repealing the 18th Amendment — Prohibition — while Hoover believed he must enforce the law. It’s hard to imagine today, but alcohol was so vilified then there was an actual Prohibition Party dedicated to keeping it illegal.
Members even endorsed their own candidate for president. Yet, just five years after that election, alcohol was legal. And even though Hoover lost his bid for re-election, he did so supporting the repeal. That’s how quickly things can change. And that bit of history is what makes the results of these three states so fascinating. No one expects President Obama or Mitt Romney to come out in support of legalized marijuana within the next few days, but what will the conversation be like four years from now? If the nation can go from upholding Prohibition to “drink up” in an election cycle, why couldn’t 2016 feature the first pro-pot president? Especially if next week’s results are, shall we say, favorable? Voting for a candidate solely because he or she lets you light up is stupid, but if all other things are equal, are we ready to vote to legalize marijuana the way our grandparents voted to legalize alcohol?I think we are, but then one could say I’m a bit biased.
ProfTechie Wrote – I am a professional in the IT industry, very successful in my career (well into 6 figures), very quick study and assertive. I’ve never met a problem I couldn’t devise a solution for within business timelines. I prefer good cannabis over alcohol always; much less impact on my cognitive abilities or on my ability to hit the running trail the next day (or even later that afternoon). I am a contributor to charities and known as a outstanding member of the community. What saddens me is with all my positive attributes I am still considered a criminal because I choose to enjoy cannabis instead of alcohol during my evenings when I am winding down from the day. I buy from a gentleman that I’ve know for many years and it affords me the comfort of not dealing with the shady criminal market, however we are both always at risk. I would much rather legalize and create a industry in the light of day than continue to subsidize the criminal elements that I must to enjoy my cannabis.
For those that suggest cannabis will result in other drugs being used, that is absolutely false. If the person is going to move to harder drugs they will do this without cannabis. I know many people like me that have smoked for years and never have walked a path to any harder drugs. Legalize it, put a age restriction on it (just like alcohol), let the individual make the educated choice, resulting in the banishment of one major revenue stream for the criminal underground. BananaSpy Wrote – Myself and many of my coworkers and friends admit freely to smoking. It has reached the tipping point where it’s no worse to tell people you smoke weed than drink alcohol, though I suppose this depends on how uptight your friends are. Some of my stoner friends are losers, some of them are extremely successful. Some of them have families, some don’t. I’ve known stoners as young as 15 and as old as 70.It is time we stop attaching all these stigmas to marijuana use. It’s especially ridiculous, after having dealt with alcohol prohibition,
that we are even pretending marijuana laws are going to forever stay intact. This is a waste of money. This is a waste of time. This is destroying job opportunities for intelligent people. This is destroying families by locking up good parents. And for those who don’t smoke who want to stand on a pedestal and preach about what a pestilence we are, I can promise you more people than you think are stoners, and they are handling your mail, delivering your pizza, packaging your goods at the warehouse, programming your operating system, checking your kid’s temperature, and fighting for your country. So get over it. Myschievousim Wrote – I work in housing. When applicants are screened for criminal background a one time arrest or ticket for marijuana use from 20 years ago is all it takes to be refused housing.
I’ve had to deny hard working family men because of an arrest when they were 20 years old. To say that the war on drugs has not cost the individual or society is to be dishonest. Another thing I’ve noticed is that almost every possession charge has a possession with the intent to sell charge attached to it. Furthermore, I think that smoking sucks. There are vaporizers now. No ash, no smell, no smoke. If you live in an apartment you should be using one as then your neighbor will not smell your use as pot smoke is very strong. If you vaporize though, there is no smell, even someone walking into the room who has never used will smell nothing .It’s ridiculous that’s its illegal and even more ridiculous how far reaching the impacts of having been arrested or ticketed really are .Snapp wrote – I am 51 an I.T. professional, supported myself all my life and I smoke pot. It is the only thing that allows the stress of the day and the anxiety to melt away.
I have driven on pot with NO issues whatsoever, never had an accident and I’ve had only one ticket in my entire life. I know and see others that are on prescriptions for stress and anxiety and they are simply out of it. At one time I smoked an ounce of pot a week if not more, in 2004 I moved to a red state where they test for drugs at the drop of a hat and could no longer smoke at will. On June 16th 2004 I smoked my last joint, funny thing is I’ve never missed it, it didn’t bother me one bit, no addiction I guess. I suffered more from the stress and anxiety from day to day life more than withdraw, so I’ve begun smoking it again and once again live stress free. It’s funny but those that oppose the legalization probably have never smoked it.
I would imagine that pharmacutical companies oppose the legalization for their own reasons and the lobbiest are hard at work making sure their products are the only ones to care for stress and anxiety. Get-Your-Mind-Off Cheech & Chong Wrote – I’m a 51 y.o. software developer who’s been smoking pot for more or less steadily since the 80’s. Since 09′ I’ve smoked only the best locally grown organic hydro, and I go through an ounce in 6 – 8 weeks. I’ve never used any other substance on a regular basis other than alcohol. You folks who are predicting stoned doctors, airline pilots, etc. are simply out of touch with reality. Stop swallowing all the lies you’ve been fed by the government and wake up to the fact that the typical pot smoker is pretty much me. The reason I (and others I know) don’t smoke at work is both because we smoke to relax and *not* think about work, and also because we don’t want to risk getting fired for screwing things up.
Pot has an effect, responsible users know this. Get your mind out of Cheech and Chong and into 2012. Eliminate Private Prisons Wrote – You want to know why pot is still illegal? Because there are people who make a TON of money as a result of keeping it illegal: the alcohol industry, the tobacco industry and most of all, *for-profit prisons*.When you decide to set up for-profit prisons, it’s over. Once you give people a monetary incentive to throw others in jail, they are going to lobby to keep every stupid/questionable law (and their extremely harsh sentences) on the books because that’s what they rely on to make money. They won’t even attempt to rehabilitate prisoners. These prisons are becoming commonplace and they have been shown over and over again to be completely inefficient and even make the problem worse.
You can’t privatize everything. You Cannot Legislate Morality Wrote – As has been stated in earlier comments the “War on Drugs” has been supporting a lucrative industry and this is probably the single most important reason why marijuana remains illegal.As we’ve seen over and over in this country, the “moral voters” can be swayed to accept almost any concept regardless of how immoral it may have been in the past,(even very recent past). It is a shame that CNN & the “MSM” doesn’t do more to expose the influence of the prison industry and prison employees’ unions on our legal policies. The US holds about 25% of the world’s prison population. About 1/2 of those due to drug charges which included no violence or larceny. While it may be acceptable for our government to promote private industry and employment, imprisoning people who at best need (much less expensive) treatment is as immoral as it comes. In times when government spending is the hottest topic on the block this should not be overlooked.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s