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sundevil
(@sundevil)
Advanced Member

How do my responses not make sense? Anything that I have not backed up I will just ask. And it wasn't me who said anything about 42% of anything. So get your facts right. And how does the prohibition of alcohol not have a direct correlation with MJ being illegal? The demand for MJ is never going to go away so why not take it out of the criminals hands and regulate and tax it. With so much concern about the economy legalizing MJ would be an easy and effective way to add $13.9 Billion to the US economy each year.

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Topic starter Posted : November 11, 2008 1:48 am
Lizard
(@Lizard)
Trusted Member

WOW!
What part of Illegal, do some posters not understand. Plenty of people have left the islands for medical treatment that was not available to them for their conditions. So if MJ is not available legally in the USVI for your specific condition (go to where it is Legal). If you honestly don't believe that MJ contributes to crime , nothing said here by anyone will change your mind. A lot of smoke and mirrors on this thread.

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Posted : November 11, 2008 1:50 am
sundevil
(@sundevil)
Advanced Member

The fact that MJ is illegal is what contributes it to crime. MJ doesn't make people go out and commit crimes. Its not like booze or crack or pcp which makes people violent and commit crimes.

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Topic starter Posted : November 11, 2008 1:56 am
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

Well this has devolved into a name calling thread. Its a shame because I think there is some real discussion to be had but it seems like name calling is more fun.

Again, I don't understand how good people can advocate violence against non violent people in the name of "its the law." I really have not had anyone ever be able to reconcile that with me and still come across as a person who is fair and peace loving like we all claim to be. Call it a challenge but I really would like to hear a good moral justification for violently shackling people in prison cells simply because they choose to put a chemical in THEIR body. How does this fit the American ideals of individual freedom and liberty that we hold so dear?

Usually people just tell me "well they could drive a car and kill someone" which is a different issue entirely. Or I get the "ends justify the means" type arguments that are easily disupted (that is the ultimate slippery slope). But I've never gotten a response that makes me re-think my pro-legalization stance on drugs.

There are mountains of evidence that show the practical advantages of re-legalization. I still haven't had anyone provide a moral basis against re-legalization, and to the contrary I think its easy to make a very strong case against criminalization (as my limited ability has demonstrated on this thread). I just don't get how none of our major politicians are looking to stand strong, break the status quo and do something to make the problems with drugs in America better by re-legalizing them. It would not be utopia, there would be addicts as there are today, but only those who choose to poison themselves with drugs would be affected as opposed to all of us non-users who are held hostage to violence in our communities because of the drug trade. With taxation of drugs we could provide treatment programs (the taxes could be used as a form of insurance that pays for rehab when users become junkies). Its not perfect but its consistent with the American principals of liberty, is better than what we have today, and would likely generate revenue for the country.

Sean

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Posted : November 11, 2008 2:07 am
Lizard
(@Lizard)
Trusted Member

OK!
"ROTFLMAO" Now it's getting silly!

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Posted : November 11, 2008 2:08 am
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

WOW!
What part of Illegal, do some posters not understand. Plenty of people have left the islands for medical treatment that was not available to them for their conditions. So if MJ is not available legally in the USVI for your specific condition (go to where it is Legal). If you honestly don't believe that MJ contributes to crime , nothing said here by anyone will change your mind. A lot of smoke and mirrors on this thread.

The same part of "illegal" that only the most courageous American's "didn't understand" when they chose to break Jim Crow laws, or help runaway slaves.

What part of "moral" don't some posters understand? 🙂

Sean

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Posted : November 11, 2008 2:11 am
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

Quote:
Stiphy
"Again, I don't understand how good people can advocate violence against non violent people in the name of "its the law." "

I would like to understand your point of view, but you make no sense. Are you actually saying that putting a person in jail is violent? Do you understand what the justice system is all about and how it works?

Jail is a deterrent. Don't do the crime if you don't want to do the time!!

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Posted : November 11, 2008 3:43 am
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

I didn't get the violence thing either. I know someone who got busted & put into jail (statesider) and it certainly wasn't violent. Not any experience he ever wanted to repeat but it wasn't violent.

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Posted : November 11, 2008 8:31 am
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

""The same part of "illegal" that only the most courageous American's "didn't understand" when they chose to break Jim Crow laws, or help runaway slaves.

What part of "moral" don't some posters understand?

Sean""

Are you REALLY comparing legalizing MJ to equality for former slaves and other minorities?????? I'm disgusted. We do not need MJ, only an addict needs it. We all need freedom, equality and respect. And I'm sorry but there is no big push to legalize MJ, most people don't care about it.

AND

""how does the prohibition of alcohol not have a direct correlation with MJ being illegal? The demand for MJ is never going to go away so why not take it out of the criminals hands and regulate and tax it. With so much concern about the economy legalizing MJ would be an easy and effective way to add $13.9 Billion to the US economy each year."""

Prohibition had a totally different history and most people drink at least occasionally. It may seem like to an addict that everyone uses but most people do not use pot or any other drug illegally. You can help keep it out of the criminals hands by not using. You don't need MJ but you use it and buy it knowing that you are helping to fund criminals. You're not just funding your small time neighborhood criminal who sells you your dime bag, but the big players as well. You funding criminals, murderers and rapists, etc. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO USE MJ (I am not talking about people taking it for medical reasons, who get it from a doctor).

13.9 billion? Theres no way you can come up with a realistic figure from an illegal operation. That is a huge guess. Also I have NO desire for it to be legal.

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Posted : November 11, 2008 10:31 am
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

Try to walk out of a jail and you see how violent it is when you get a bullet to your leg. How can you NOT consider locking someone in a cage a violent activity? Is kidnapping someone not violent then? Seriously...you don't see that? I am stunned. We allow the government to put people in jail who have perpetrated violence against others in order to keep them from continuing such violence as well as rehabilitate them. It also serves as a deterrent precisely because it is a violent institution. I have no problem with putting violent people in jail..but that is not what we are talking about here.

As for comparing smoking MJ to Jim Crow or slavery....what I'm referring to is the paradigm of injustice. Did Samuel Adams and his friends in Boston really start a war over a penny tax on tea? No, it was the paradigm that they were fighting against. And what I'm saying is that living under a paradigm where one person has the right to imprison another person who did absolutely nothing to harm the other person is something worth fighting against IMO. There are a million of cliche's on this which I don't think I have to repeat here to make the point. To quote you, all one needs is "freedom, respect, and equality"...you cannot have freedom as long as at any time the government can create a law to lock you up for non-violent activity...that is my whole point.

I really am shocked at any American who's logical and moral justification for something is "the law is the law." With that attitude we'd still be taking orders from the British.

I guess I've just read too much Thoreau in my life.

Anyway, thanks for the debate.

Sean

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Posted : November 11, 2008 12:31 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

STiphy the law is the law for a good reason. The selling of drugs does lead to violent crime and it does great harm to the individual and that individuals family. They are harming others when they buy and use. We have all sorts of laws where people do no violent crime but cause great harm and go to jail, like embezzling. They didn't physically hurt someone but they hurt them financially. Do you think these criminals sholdnt go to jail? Or how about people that just sell child pornography. They didnt take the pictures but they distribute it. Should they not go to jail? Violence is not the only reason someone should go to jail. Or how about manslaughter? They didn't mean to hurt someone, should we let them off too?

Selling and buying drugs hurts us all. A majority of people taking drugs are not doing so for medical reasons and do not need them. They are helping to fund an illegal system. They are funding really bad criminals, who do incredible harm. Just look at our islands. If we didnt have the drugs problems here we would have little crime. You would still have to contend with bad govt but it would be much much better.

Think about what drugs do to the family as well. Drugs ARE NOT a victimless crime.

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Posted : November 11, 2008 2:31 pm
islandtyme
(@islandtyme)
Trusted Member

Just because someone inquires about the law, does NOT automatically make them a breaker or a user. Asking about them will give you the basis to go for research and reform. If I was to march in a civil rights march, it doesn't make me black, it means I believe in the cause. And I'll march to get my point across & help change the system. Same goes with MJ laws, if you ask about them, then join the group you support to bring about change. Stop hating the messenger & just because you have a very strong stance on something doesn't mean another can't have the same. Things that are legal, like drinking destroy lives everyday, inhaling 2nd hand smoke from legal cigs kills hundreds every day. And to say if drugs were banished from our islands would make it an utopia is just silly! Poor ,hungry & desperate will still break into your house, rob you at gun point at a restaurant, steal your car.............Crime is opportunistic and will morph into something else should drugs be legalized. Yes, harder substances destroy a person & their families.............but I watched my grandfather drink then turn nasty, smack around the people he supposedly loved and eventually lost his life when all his material possessions were gone.
And talk about the gateway drug............beer baby beer, more kids start there! But the hang over just sux.............so they move on to something that will make you feel good now & no toilet hugging required.
So lets not get nasty, call each other names, state your reasons for or against it...........debate it, but don't hate a person for his or her view.

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Posted : November 11, 2008 2:59 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

Give me a good reason why they would ask then?? Seriously a good reason. He didn't ask about medical MJ either.

I'm sorry but you guys can not keep comparing civil rights to MJ as a minority I find that disgusting. If you were comparing legalizing gay marriage to civil rights or something like that I could understand. That is more about having personal freedom.

And yes we would still have crime without drugs, but the way things are now it would cut out at least half the crime on the island. Wouldnt that be a wonderful thing.

I have a very low tolerance for addicts, for people throwing their lives away period. Doesn't matter to me if they are drunks or pill poppers. You are not just destroying yourself.

I apologize for calling anyone names, you are right that is not excusable.

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Posted : November 11, 2008 3:15 pm
EngRMP
(@EngRMP)
Advanced Member

Wow, so much going on in this legalization debate:
1) the merry-go-round argument is getting me dizzy:
- Conservatives: MJ is bad because of the violence.
- Liberals: but, if it were legal then you wouldn’t have violence
- Conservatives: but it destroys the brain
- Liberals: but personal use of MJ doesn’t hurt anyone else
- start over from the top...

2) let’s see if we can stop the merry-go-round:
- there is no doubt that SINCE IT’S ILLEGAL that criminals are the only folks that can engage in the business; and that has a violent element because they're criminals. If it were legalized then the MJ business violence goes away. It’s not logical to use the violence issue as an argument against legalization.
- just because MJ users are not violent, doesn’t mean that it should be legalized. If that were the case then con artists should be allowed because they aren’t violent. It’s not sufficient that users are not violent.
- I doubt the scientific community is going to agree that MJ is any more or less addictive than tobacco, sugar or alcohol. I think there’s more evidence that people who have addictive tendencies get addicted to “things”. If MJ leads to heroin then so does alcohol... they’re both drugs. We don’t see long time alcohol users going to heroin.
- is anyone advocating giving out joints at Halloween? No. Is anyone advocating letting people under the influence drive taxis or ambulances? No. Is there any harm to society in letting people use MJ as responsibly as they use (or should be using) alcohol... socially, or in private? No accepted evidence.
- So, why isn’t it legalized yet? Probably because too many politicians see it as political suicide to go after this issue when there are so many other more important issues... the timing is just not yet right.

Which brings me to the real question in my mind: doesn’t this issue show the classic difference between conservatives and liberals (sorry, that’s not the question):
- conservatives see the expanding set of freedoms as the decline of society (gay marriage, obscene art, legalized drugs, etc).
- liberals see society as an evolution of ideas where diversity and change is a good thing as long as there’s no blatant harm.
So, the question in my mind is: can liberals and conservatives have more logical and meaningful discussions if they understand each other’s side more clearly? What do you think? Do we understand each other’s side?

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Posted : November 11, 2008 3:16 pm
islandtyme
(@islandtyme)
Trusted Member

Why ask? Information is a powerful tool!
If I ask about laws dancing naked in the streets doesn't necessarily mean we do it.
Ok, civil rights isn't a good comparison...............um hows about abortion? My body, my choice? I can legally kill an innocent life, who has NO VOICE on the subject...........but I can not smoke a j?
Agreed its illegal..........but wanting to change the law doesn't make me a bad person. Wanting to keep the laws the way they are doesn't make you bad either!

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Posted : November 11, 2008 3:39 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

I personally fall in the middle. I think many people do but thats just my opinion. I'm for gay marriage and have no problem with any type of art (freedom of speech). I don't believe in the death penalty, I am strongly pro choice, but then again I don't think men should have to pay child support if the man does not want the child. Most people are not black and white in their views IMO. Funny side note, one of my friends that is in legal system told me most states still have a law on the books making it illegal to get a girl to sleep with you by promising marriage. Wonder if that makes shot gun weddings legal??

I can understand the liberal point of view on drugs. The war of drugs has take away many personal freedoms that we took for granted. Addiction is a disease, which I can understand intellectually, but seeing what it does to the people around the addict I find it impossible to forgive them and knowing the big picture of where all that money goes.

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Posted : November 11, 2008 3:45 pm
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

Just a fact or two. MJ is not additive in the sense that opiate based drugs are. I'll agree that someone can develop a psycholodical dependence but that's true for Twinkies as well. There are huge differences between addictive drugs and MJ. Mj does not destroy brain cells as does coke and crack. Yes it could be blamed that it makes people peaceful and serene but addicted? This is where the logic of some of these arguments approach fantasy, just like Reefer Madness.
With the internet it's easy to be informed and factual yet some people wallow in misinformation. Check the facts. My advise is to engage brain before mouth ( or typing). Opinions are like as* holes, everybody has one.

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Posted : November 11, 2008 4:04 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

' The short-term effects of marijuana addiction can include problems with memory and learning, distorted perception, difficulty in thinking and problem solving, loss of coordination and increased heart rate. Research findings for long-term marijuana use indicate some changes in the brain similar to those seen after long-term use of other major drugs of abuse. One study has indicated that a user’s risk of heart attack more than quadruples in the first hour after smoking marijuana. "

'Consequences of marijuana addiction start to take toll when the user continues to use marijuana even in the event of health or social consequences. Memory and learning problems may be causing problems at work or even result in losing a job because of high absenteeism. Increasing isolation from friends and family often puts heavy strain on relationships with loved ones. There is a vicious cycle to marijuana addiction in which these problems are often used as a rational to smoke even more pot. A trap that many fall into is that the drug that is causing the problem becomes the solution to the problem it caused.'

There are 2 quotes from two different websites that specialize in addiction, one of them marijuana anonomys. I don't know what your point was Bombi other then to try to make me feel stupid. The comment about holes was gross, vulgar and childish. I never met a doctor that would tell you its not addictive or that it doesn't damage you brain. I really think you guilty of what you accuse me of. Have you read any literature from a addiction specialist or even their website. Have you seen what drugs can do to a family. From my end of the stick you are wallowing in your own misinformation and are just trying to defend your viewpoint. You accuse others of coming up with fantasy when it feels like that's what your whole argument is.

I agree that some addictions are all psychological, like food, shopping, caffeine, etc... MJ may start out as psychological, but it does effect the body, emotions and the brain with continued use.

It may make some people serene in the beginning but that will not last. As someone gets addicted and has to use constantly all the negative effects of MJ will show up.

I am not saying that all that use it are addicts. I am not saying I'm against medical MJ. People please read my post and don't make things up. I'm saying its illegal. I don't like and don't want to be around using addicts, on the other hand I'm proud of recoverying addicts. I don't want it legalized. I think when people buy drugs illegally its bad for us all. If you have an illness you go to the doctor you don't buy it off the street. If you guys want to make it legal go for it, this is America you have a right to try. I will be the one voting against it.

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Posted : November 11, 2008 4:57 pm
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

Betty, I respect your opinions and did in no way mean to insult or degrade you. My pespective is evidently very different from yours as is our sources of information. I in my years on earth have never had any interaction with any one who was addicted to MJ although I known many users. Mj is a valuable medicinal herb that can be beneficial to people with specific chronic diseases. That is the major point of my position as well as decriminalization.
I'll continue to work for change in the Vi's archaic and discriminatory laws. Peace

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Posted : November 11, 2008 5:31 pm
SistaIrijah
(@SistaIrijah)
Advanced Member

greetings and good afternoon

i, too, apologize for being wicked and rude.
i have a low tolerance at times for what i perceive to be narrow mindedness.
if i angered anyone or hurt anyone's feelings, it was not my intention.
i have a tendency for bluntness sometimes, and i also keep my opinions bottled up and then tend to blow up.
i do not agree that marijuana is addictive, nor do i think that smoking it for any reason should be a crime.
that is just my humble opinion.
so on my part, in all things, let us agree to disagree and move forward.
give thanks.

guidance
Sis Irijah

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Posted : November 11, 2008 7:18 pm
EngRMP
(@EngRMP)
Advanced Member

Also, Betty, I might be reading too much into those quotes of yours, but:
- they seem to casually go between the terms MJ addict and MJ user
- I'm not sure they're actually saying that MJ is addictive (although it would be very easy to read that into their words)
- I think they're really referring to people who are addicted to MJ (people who have addiction tendencies and have chosen MJ to "abuse")
- it would be interesting to pin them down on if they're saying that MJ is addictive

If they're a treatment center then they might not like the idea of making a distinction between a user and an addict (even if they know there is a difference) - it gives people with addiction problems the false wiggle room to tell themselves that they don't have a problem.

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Posted : November 11, 2008 7:26 pm
trw
 trw
(@trw)
Expert

so i was standing outside the cafe yesterday smoking a cigarette and i had a young guy,maybe 15,ask me if i wanted to buy any weed,now i remember when the little pri*ks used to ask me for smokes or to buy booze for them,now do i really need a 15 year old trying to sell me pot? tomorrow he'll be trying to sell me crack or coke because he'll figure out there's more profit in that than weed and he'll be doing all of that because he wants to be a :playa" and not get a real job with some real responsibilities

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Posted : November 11, 2008 7:40 pm
Sabrina
(@Sabrina)
Advanced Member

I really don't want to stir the pot here, but I'm curious why nobody has used the "right to practice their religion" argument in the islands. I know there are plenty of Rastas, surely they could argue it was a part of their religion? Look at what the Jews / Moslems do to animals in the name of religious rights, and it is tolerated (how I wish that could be made illegal). I really don't believe people using MJ are hurting anybody, except maybe themselves. I have never seen anyone behaving in a mean and aggressive manner, but I have seen that many times in drunks, and alcohol is legal. Legalizing something (that isn't dangerous) that we all know is going to happen anyway, provides a much safer environment for everyone.

As far as drug dealers "forcing" their goods on unwilling subjects, that is something that has always puzzled me, because I'm sure the drug users must have gone looking for it. I have lived in a few different Caribbean islands, and travelled to many more. For years I went to Caribbean nightclubs, reggae festivals etc. etc. Nobody EVER tried to sell me drugs. It became a bit of a standing joke with my friends, I even tried flirting with known drug dealers. They would buy me drinks, dance with me, even walk me safely to my car, but never, ever, was there a mention of drugs! I absolutely do not use drugs, but it is because I value my health above everything, and not for moral reasons.

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Posted : November 11, 2008 7:49 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

"Which brings me to the real question in my mind: doesn’t this issue show the classic difference between conservatives and liberals (sorry, that’s not the question):
- conservatives see the expanding set of freedoms as the decline of society (gay marriage, obscene art, legalized drugs, etc).
- liberals see society as an evolution of ideas where diversity and change is a good thing as long as there’s no blatant harm."

The liberal and conservative labels don't seem very useful as the majority of Americans are both. I think "obscene art" is an oxymoron, as art is a matter of person perception. I think "gay marriage" is also an oxymoron, as marriage is a religious institution and most major religions consider homosexuals to be violating religious tenets. I am a heterosexual atheist and twenty-five years ago I legally became a spouse without the presence of a religious or government agent. I think homosexuals should have the same rights as heterosexuals, but I think humans have the intellectual capacity to find another word outside the religiously laden concept of "marriage" to describe my union with my spouse and homosexual unions. I think all drugs should be legal and available for purchase by everyone without a prescription, and that it should be a matter of personal choice whether one chooses to obtain input from a medical professional into one's decision to use a particular drug. Society is an evolution of ideas, and diversity and change can be good things, but "blatant harm" is inherent in every policy decision; change and diversity simply alter the demographics of the group(s) being harmed. I don't think there is a "classic difference" between conservatives and liberals, only degrees on a continuum.

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Posted : November 11, 2008 8:11 pm
EngRMP
(@EngRMP)
Advanced Member

dntw8up, I agree with the concept of a continuum between liberal and conservative. And I heard a concept recently (probably old, but new to me) that democrats and republicans really "fight between the 40 yard lines". But, when I analyze the liberal vs conservative news media (CNN/MSNBC vs FOX) there doesn't seem to be much of a continuum. And when I talk to my democrat and republican friends and family, again there doesn't seem to be much of a continuum (liberals can not stand to watch one second of Fox, and conservatives feel the same about CNN/MSNBC). It seems more polarizing to me, and what interests me is:
- it seems to be almost equally split in this country (based on popular vote)
- I don't see people trying to reach for the middle or trying to understand the other side
- I'm truly puzzled by the conservative view, but I very much want to understand it because I suspect that if I had a clearer picture of it, it might be easier to find a middle ground.

I'm not sure I see blatant harm to be inherent in any policy decision. In this MJ legalization question, who would be harmed by legalization?

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Posted : November 11, 2008 8:55 pm
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