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dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
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"...In this MJ legalization question, who would be harmed by legalization?"

There are lots of possible answers. Here's a simple one: Scientific data supports that marijuana is damaging to the brain, to motor skills, to the heart and nervous system, and especially to the immune system, not because of the THC and other cannabinoids it delivers to the body, but because it also delivers harmful substances, including most of those found in tobacco smoke. Legalizing marijuana removes the taboo of illicit drug use, which will likely lead to greater recreational marijuana use, just as lifting the prohibition on alcohol made alcohol use a common social pastime. Since Americans currently view medical services as an entitlement, by among other things funding free clinics and requiring ERs to treat regardless of ability to pay, all taxpayers are harmed because they have to absorb the increased medical costs of those who seek treatment for issues that develop as a result of their recreational smoking.

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Posted : November 11, 2008 9:29 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

Betty,

Violence doesn't have to be physical...there is "emotional violence" as well. Embezzeling money for instance isn't physical violence but it surely is "emotional violence" as it takes away time that I've spent acquiring what was embezzled. Jail is often more of an "emotionally violent" place because it restricts your freedoms (although many jails also are physically violent places as well and restraining someone is a physically violent act). And intent isn't part of the equation so yes, manslaughter is a violent act.

But I still fail to see how in any way shape or form smoking MJ or any drug in a peaceful way is a violent act, either physically or emotionally. I especially fail to see this in a country where alchohol and cigarettes are legal. The drug trade, because it is illegal may lead to some violence, but as many have pointed out that is a side effect of criminalization not of usage in and of itself.

I am in agreeement with you 100% about your attitude towards junkie's. I think that junkies are wasting the most precious gift they have, their life. I would like to see them get help or alternatively (and unfortunately) use themselves to death rather than waste their life. I do think rather than imprisoning them taxing the stuff for treatment would give more the former option. I realize that freedom comes with responsibility, and that's a beautiful thing. I am by no means condoning irresponsible drug use. I have friends who use drugs responsibly and sometimes even to their benefit...they enjoy it, they go to work inspired because of it etc. I don't get it but it's what motivates them to acheive, and some have acheived remarkable things. I've had others including family members who have become addicts. At the end of the day I don't blame the drugs for the situation of the addicts, I blame the addicts...and those who have beaten their addiction I gain huge respect for.

Again, thanks for the vigorous debate. I too would rather see a world where people didn't abuse drugs...I just think the criminalization is immoral, impractical, and has failed us for 80 years so its time to stop the insanity and come up with another approach to get there.

Sean

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Posted : November 11, 2008 10:00 pm
EngRMP
(@EngRMP)
Advanced Member

Oh, OK dntw8up, I see... I agree that if it becomes legal then we are somewhat legally obligated to deal with any consequences. And of course it would be valid to ask if the cost of regulating would be less than the cost of criminalizing, but on first blush it seems that tax income would at least offset the cost of regulation.

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Posted : November 11, 2008 10:13 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

EngRMP : "But, when I analyze the liberal vs conservative news media (CNN/MSNBC vs FOX) there doesn't seem to be much of a continuum."

dntw8up: As JM said: "...And when you trust your television, What you get is what you got, Cause when they own the information, They can bend it all they want..." The media gets its power by telling people what to think, and most of them have never had an original thought.

EngRMP : "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)."

dntw8up: Perhaps they are getting their perspectives from the media as well. If so, it's no surprise they're polarized. Polarization makes for more fireworks, which raises viewership, sells papers, and brings in advertiser dollars.

EngRMP : "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."

dntw8up: I think that the disconnect lies in religion. The so called conservatives are driven by their faith. Every week they are told what to think by someone with a particular agenda. Embracing that agenda makes them a "good" Christian/Muslim/Jew/Whatever. Rejecting that agenda threatens their relationship with their god, their relationships with those of their faith, and their status within their faith community. When the weekly message is that ones lot in life is their god's will and that the afterlife will be indescribably better than life on Earth, it can, for example, be argued that taxpayer funded social programs are morally corrupt because they prolong the less desirable life here and delay the more desirable afterlife. Religious doctrines are pretty clear about what is right and what is wrong for adherents of a given faith, so looking for middle ground in faith based political values is a futile proposition.

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Posted : November 11, 2008 10:31 pm
EngRMP
(@EngRMP)
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dntw8up... wow, fascinating!

That seems VERY well thought out to me, and is very compelling. I had a long response, but it didn't add anything useful. I used to think that deep down, conservatives are just uncomfortable with change (and therefore, liberals appear to be ramming change down their throats, without any due diligence). Maybe that's part of the difference also.

So, I'm very curious if conservatives will agree at all with your assertion.

And, where do religious democrats fit in this picture (my 95 yo mom is religious and yet is strongly democratic)? I wonder if religious people will agree.

OK, pot smokers, you'd better get back to an earlier view of Jesus as one of the original hippies.

Are liberals foolish for trying to use non-religious logic to argue their views?

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Posted : November 12, 2008 1:08 am
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

The so called conservatives are driven by their faith

Conservatives aren't all driven by religion. The late William F. Buckley was hardly a bible thumper. I don't consider myself to be conservative other than fiscally but think the Neocons have used the religious right to further their agenda. I don't think labels can apply much now. There are cafeteria conservatives & cafeteria liberals & most cherry pick.

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Posted : November 12, 2008 9:29 am
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

I agree with Trade on this that it's a little bit oversimplified to say all conservatives are driven by religion. To be cliche, politics make for strange bedfellows, and I think the Republican party has unfortunately saddled up to the religious right to get votes. This is a tactic which the rest of America has tired of as evidenced by their reception of the Palin VP appointment and Obama win.

I think there is a huge group of people who are fiscally conservative and "socially" liberal who have no where to go. The neocons want to be in our bedroom and the liberals want to be in our pocket. I want politicians who stay out of my bedroom and my pockets but have not really had this option in any of the 2 major political parties during my lifetime.

Sean

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Posted : November 12, 2008 2:34 pm
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

medicalmarijuana.procon.org an independent neutral site with lots of info

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Posted : November 12, 2008 3:33 pm
no0ne
(@no0ne)
Advanced Member

Top 10 Pot Studies Government Wished it Had Never Funded

10) MARIJUANA USE HAS NO EFFECT ON MORTALITY: A massive study of California HMO members funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found marijuana use caused no significant increase in mortality. Tobacco use was associated with increased risk of death. Sidney, S et al. Marijuana Use and Mortality. American Journal of Public Health. Vol. 87 No. 4, April 1997. p. 585-590. Sept. 2002.

9) HEAVY MARIJUANA USE AS A YOUNG ADULT WON’T RUIN YOUR LIFE: Veterans Affairs scientists looked at whether heavy marijuana use as a young adult caused long-term problems later, studying identical twins in which one twin had been a heavy marijuana user for a year or longer but had stopped at least one month before the study, while the second twin had used marijuana no more than five times ever. Marijuana use had no significant impact on physical or mental health care utilization, health-related quality of life, or current socio-demographic characteristics. Eisen SE et al. Does Marijuana Use Have Residual Adverse Effects on Self-Reported Health Measures, Socio-Demographics or Quality of Life? A Monozygotic Co-Twin Control Study in Men. Addiction. Vol. 97 No. 9. p.1083-1086. Sept. 1997

8) THE "GATEWAY EFFECT" MAY BE A MIRAGE: Marijuana is often called a "gateway drug" by supporters of prohibition, who point to statistical "associations" indicating that persons who use marijuana are more likely to eventually try hard drugs than those who never use marijuana — implying that marijuana use somehow causes hard drug use. But a model developed by RAND Corp. researcher Andrew Morral demonstrates that these associations can be explained "without requiring a gateway effect." More likely, this federally funded study suggests, some people simply have an underlying propensity to try drugs, and start with what’s most readily available. Morral AR, McCaffrey D and Paddock S. Reassessing the Marijuana Gateway Effect. Addiction. December 2002. p. 1493-1504.

7) PROHIBITION DOESN’T WORK (PART I): The White House had the National Research Council examine the data being gathered about drug use and the effects of U.S. drug policies. NRC concluded, "the nation possesses little information about the effectiveness of current drug policy, especially of drug law enforcement." And what data exist show "little apparent relationship between severity of sanctions prescribed for drug use and prevalence or frequency of use." In other words, there is no proof that prohibition — the cornerstone of U.S. drug policy for a century — reduces drug use. National Research Council. Informing America’s Policy on Illegal Drugs: What We Don’t Know Keeps Hurting Us. National Academy Press, 2001. p. 193.

6) PROHIBITION DOESN’T WORK (PART II: DOES PROHIBITION CAUSE THE "GATEWAY EFFECT"?): U.S. and Dutch researchers, supported in part by NIDA, compared marijuana users in San Francisco, where non-medical use remains illegal, to Amsterdam, where adults may possess and purchase small amounts of marijuana from regulated businesses. Looking at such parameters as frequency and quantity of use and age at onset of use, they found no differences except one: Lifetime use of hard drugs was significantly lower in Amsterdam, with its "tolerant" marijuana policies. For example, lifetime crack cocaine use was 4.5 times higher in San Francisco than Amsterdam. Reinarman, C, Cohen, PDA, and Kaal, HL. The Limited Relevance of Drug Policy: Cannabis in Amsterdam and San Francisco. American Journal of Public Health. Vol. 94, No. 5. May 2004. p. 836-842.

5) OOPS, MARIJUANA MAY PREVENT CANCER (PART I): Federal researchers implanted several types of cancer, including leukemia and lung cancers, in mice, then treated them with cannabinoids (unique, active components found in marijuana). THC and other cannabinoids shrank tumors and increased the mice’s lifespans. Munson, AE et al. Antineoplastic Activity of Cannabinoids. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Sept. 1975. p. 597-602.

4) OOPS, MARIJUANA MAY PREVENT CANCER, (PART II): In a 1994 study the government tried to suppress, federal researchers gave mice and rats massive doses of THC, looking for cancers or other signs of toxicity. The rodents given THC lived longer and had fewer cancers, "in a dose-dependent manner" (i.e. the more THC they got, the fewer tumors). NTP Technical Report On The Toxicology And Carcinogenesis Studies Of 1-Trans- Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, CAS No. 1972-08-3, In F344/N Rats And B6C3F(1) Mice, Gavage Studies. See also, "Medical Marijuana: Unpublished Federal Study Found THC-Treated Rats Lived Longer, Had Less Cancer," AIDS Treatment News no. 263, Jan. 17, 1997.

3) OOPS, MARIJUANA MAY PREVENT CANCER (PART III): Researchers at the Kaiser-Permanente HMO, funded by NIDA, followed 65,000 patients for nearly a decade, comparing cancer rates among non-smokers, tobacco smokers, and marijuana smokers. Tobacco smokers had massively higher rates of lung cancer and other cancers. Marijuana smokers who didn’t also use tobacco had no increase in risk of tobacco-related cancers or of cancer risk overall. In fact their rates of lung and most other cancers were slightly lower than non-smokers, though the difference did not reach statistical significance. Sidney, S. et al. Marijuana Use and Cancer Incidence (California, United States). Cancer Causes and Control. Vol. 8. Sept. 1997, p. 722-728.

2) OOPS, MARIJUANA MAY PREVENT CANCER (PART IV): Donald Tashkin, a UCLA researcher whose work is funded by NIDA, did a case-control study comparing 1,200 patients with lung, head and neck cancers to a matched group with no cancer. Even the heaviest marijuana smokers had no increased risk of cancer, and had somewhat lower cancer risk than non-smokers (tobacco smokers had a 20-fold increased lung cancer risk). Tashkin D. Marijuana Use and Lung Cancer: Results of a Case-Control Study. American Thoracic Society International Conference. May 23, 2006.

1) MARIJUANA DOES HAVE MEDICAL VALUE: In response to passage of California’s medical marijuana law, the White House had the Institute of Medicine (IOM) review the data on marijuana’s medical benefits and risks. The IOM concluded, "Nausea, appetite loss, pain and anxiety are all afflictions of wasting, and all can be mitigated by marijuana." While noting potential risks of smoking, the report added, "we acknowledge that there is no clear alternative for people suffering from chronic conditions that might be relieved by smoking marijuana, such as pain or AIDS wasting." The government’s refusal to acknowledge this finding caused co-author John A. Benson to tell the New York Times that the government "loves to ignore our report … they would rather it never happened." Joy, JE, Watson, SJ, and Benson, JA. Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. National Academy Press. 1999. p. 159. See also, Harris, G. FDA Dismisses Medical Benefit From Marijuana. New York Times. Apr. 21, 2006

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Posted : November 12, 2008 5:25 pm
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

Aren't you the one who talked about all the crimes you committed on STT over on Vacations, smashing up cars parked? :@)

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Posted : November 12, 2008 6:12 pm
Lizard
(@Lizard)
Trusted Member

Did a little time in the Pokey too! Courtesy of the tax payers.

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Posted : November 12, 2008 6:19 pm
EngRMP
(@EngRMP)
Advanced Member

(In my best Palin voice, and wagging a finger): oh you... there you go again, trying to use that logic stuff... if God wanted us using drugs he woulda put it in the 10 Commandments, don't ya know.... you're going too mavericky.

In gross terms, I haven't seen much to dispute dntw8up's assertions about conservatives. I believe that people are willing to cherry pick, but I just don't see much evidence that the result is that most people end up in the middle ground (closer to the 50 yard line)... it sure looks to me that there are these two large populations that are camped out at opposite 40/30 yard lines (sorry, kind of mutilating this metaphor). Let's try this mental experiment: would you agree that "in general" a lot of people fall in the liberal 40 yard line group of favoring: gay rights, women's choice, greater limits on firearms, end the war, social safety nets, pick another liberal theme.
And, an equally large group at the other 40 yard line (conservatives), opposing the above. I just haven't seen evidence of a significant population in between. And, to me that seems pretty polarizing. And, I think people would have more meaningful discussion of issues if we understood the reasoning of those folks on the "other" 40 yard line. I don't see much evidence that dntw8up's explanation is wrong, in large measure... maybe what I see is too limiting (btw, I don't completely buy the argument that we're effectively controlled, or highly biased by the media, but I think there is significant truth to this). You know, it might also be that with the internet it's easier to find+understand WHAT the other side stands for, but not WHY (or maybe we get disgusted reading the WHAT and don't even bother to find the WHY).

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Posted : November 12, 2008 6:21 pm
Sabrina
(@Sabrina)
Advanced Member

noOne, pardon my ignorance, but don't they mix the MJ with tobacco, and then smoke it without even a filter? At least that is what I saw them doing in the happy coffee shops in Amsterdam. Even if the MJ is harmless, the tobacco is still going to harm you.

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Posted : November 12, 2008 6:29 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

EngRMP I'm sure you mean well but you come off more then a little condescending. I've notice from you posts on other threads over the months that you swing to the extreme liberal side. Just remember that when you talk about people on different sides of the spectrum. Coming from your side you're going to have a very hard time understanding the more conservative opinion. There are many conservatives that are for gay marriage and are pro choice. Within each of our two party system are 100s of groups, with their own agendas. You cannot simplify this. Politics is not black and white or simple.

I'm more on the middle on alot of issues, not legalization and I believe we need less govt not more. But legalization is not a democrat issue. As others have said most won't touch it with a ten foot pole, political suicide. So my biggest source of contention with the democrats is I desire less government and don't wish to see this country turn into a socialist nation, which if we get free health care we really will be very close to.

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Posted : November 12, 2008 7:11 pm
EngRMP
(@EngRMP)
Advanced Member

I'm sorry Betty, you're right... I try to inject humor but it sometimes (especially this time) crosses the boundary of respect for other's views (which in reality I respect)... I do sincerely apologize for the childish and insensitive remark.

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Posted : November 12, 2008 7:53 pm
no0ne
(@no0ne)
Advanced Member

Aren't you the one who talked about all the crimes you committed on STT over on Vacations, smashing up cars parked? :@)

I took advantage of the situation I was in as a teenager. I do not see how this relates to a civil discussion of supposed criminal conduct concerning marijuana.

But... since you gave me an in concerning my book - yes I have written about things my friends and I have done on and around the islands. PM me if you want to read my book.

(In my best Palin voice, and wagging a finger): oh you... there you go again, trying to use that logic stuff... if God wanted us using drugs he woulda put it in the 10 Commandments, don't ya know.... you're going too mavericky.

I do believe the bible says that all plants and animals are for us, unconditionally.

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Posted : November 13, 2008 2:56 am
no0ne
(@no0ne)
Advanced Member

Sabrina:

They do not allow tobacco products to be used in Amsterdam shops now. I personally have never mixed tobacco with weed - and that is with three weeks in Amsterdam.

Edit: mushrooms are illegal now, there, as well.

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Posted : November 13, 2008 3:01 am
no0ne
(@no0ne)
Advanced Member

Seriously though - both sides, for and against, are rife with unsubstantiated evidence. We should be looking to test this drug for possible benefits.

Unfortunately, one side wants complete legalization and the other wants complete criminalization. Both sides are engaged in FUD, and the only way I see out of this is to conduct scientifically sound studies.

We need to look at anything that has a curative (i.e. bacteria that is closely related to us from DNA) solution for our humanity.

Take your head out of the sand.

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Posted : November 13, 2008 3:14 am
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

I don't want to buy your book, thanks.

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Posted : November 13, 2008 8:52 am
Lizard
(@Lizard)
Trusted Member

Trade,
LOL! I AGREE!!!!!!!!

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Posted : November 13, 2008 10:11 am
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

I think the intent of the original discussion has gotten off track. The issue isn't legalization, it is decriminalization of small amounts for personal use and a medical marijuana provision. Most of the laws about smuggling and dealing would stay relatively the same.
There are several proven models that work. 14 states have passed legislation decriminalizing with a medical use provision. Decriminalization locks fewer people up for small quantities and keeps the youth from becoming felons and allows the police to concentrate on more important matters of public safety.
I don't expect to change your mind, just to perhaps see if you can expand your paradigm so you might give it some thought from a different perspective......" For the times they are a changin"

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Posted : November 13, 2008 11:23 am
EngRMP
(@EngRMP)
Advanced Member

Bombi, I personally think your proposition is a slam dunk. But I think the opposition believes that: MJ is addictive (so we need better education) and that it is as bad for society as drinking or tobacco is (a harder argument to combat IMO). I think the other difficult argument to combat is the slippery slope of legalizing MJ, and then all drugs. The fact that 14 states have successfully taken action is encouraging and seems to be an indication that it's just a matter of time for many other states. In today's financial climate I think the best opportunity for advocates would be on economic grounds - if there was a compelling case to save tax dollars I think politicians could publicly support the issue and I think most liberals and many moderates would support it.

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Posted : November 13, 2008 12:27 pm
islandtyme
(@islandtyme)
Trusted Member

Legalizing drugs for politicians is like wanting to change Social Security..........man it's like touching the 3rd rail
GO THERE & DIE! 😮

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Posted : November 13, 2008 12:50 pm
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

"I don't expect to change your mind, just to perhaps see if you can expand your paradigm so you might give it some thought from a different perspective"

I agree & hope you do the same. 😀

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Posted : November 13, 2008 1:21 pm
Lizard
(@Lizard)
Trusted Member

Legalizing drugs for politicians is like wanting to change Social Security..........man it's like touching the 3rd rail
GO THERE & DIE! 😮

That is the benefit of a Republic at times!

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Posted : November 13, 2008 2:22 pm
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